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Police stepping up road patrols in time for holiday weekend

New York State Police and police agencies throughout Western New York will be increasing road patrols with marked and unmarked vehicles beginning early Friday and into Monday, State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico announced Thursday.

Statewide, more than 10,200 vehicle and traffic tickets were issued during the Fourth of July weekend last year, said D’Amico, who added that there were 180 drunken-driving arrests and more than 650 crashes – two of them fatal.

Motorists, he said, can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols, and troopers will also be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.

“The Fourth of July is known for its fun and fireworks, but New Yorkers should remember it can also be fatal if they don’t make the right decisions,” D’Amico said. “Our troopers will be out to identify and arrest any motorist who is driving drunk or impaired.

Police also will be vigilant of motorists using cellphones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel. He also urged motorists to “move over” on the roadway for any stopped emergency or hazard vehicles dealing with an emergency.

D’Amico said the unfortunate aspect of the July Fourth celebrations is they are “especially deadly.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that during the 2013 holiday weekend – the latest for which national records are available – 512 people were killed in traffic crashes, with 199 of those as the result of drunken driving.