ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday, April 19th that state police and local law enforcement will be stepping up patrols to target drug-impaired driving on Thursday, April 20.
The day is normally celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts as “4/20” and is the focus of Governor Hochul’s newest enforcement and prevention campaign. Impaired driving charges could cost offending motorists over $10,000 in fees, fines and other costs and could result in jail time.
“Drug-impaired driving is a reckless, dangerous choice that puts everyone on our roadways at risk,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “To avoid the deadly consequences, do not get behind the wheel and always make sure to have a travel plan to get home safely.”
On top of the crackdown, State Police have been training to enforce the new cannabis laws in the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) training program. Last year, 99 officers took the DRE training, bringing the total to 432 officers statewide, which includes 134 New York State Police officers. The GTSC said that they are getting close to their goal of 550 trained officers by the end of the year.
Additionally, every State Police officer is required to attend Advance Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), which is also administered by the GTSC. In New York State, 749 officers have completed that level of training.
Hochul has said that patrols from local and State police officers will be happening across New York State through the day Thursday, April 20.
“It’s simple: don’t drive after consuming cannabis,” Office of Cannabis Management Executive Director Chris Alexander said in a statement. “It was dangerous and against the law before cannabis was legalized in New York State, and it’s still dangerous and against the law today.”