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PEMBROKE CRASH SPURS LINE TO REPORT DRUNKEN DRIVERS

Inspired by a fatal crash in Pembroke three years ago, Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled the nation's first toll-free telephone hot line to report drunken driving.

The 1987 accident that killed three Pembroke Central High School students and their driver-education instructor was cited Tuesday by State Police Superintendent Thomas Constantine at ceremonies announcing the hot line.

In the Pembroke case, police were notified a drunken driver was on the road and came within seconds of catching him before the crash, Constantine said.

The new telephone number -- 1-800-CURB-DWI (287-2394) -- will allow reports of drunken drivers anywhere in the state. The system, developed by New York Telephone, will route calls to the nearest State Police barracks. Troopers then will notify local police or send their own patrols if necessary.

Cuomo said state residents would be told about the hot line in public service announcements and phone-bill inserts.

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