A New York City television station’s investigative team found that there were more alcohol-related crashes in Long Island’s Suffolk County than in any other county in New York State. Channel 4’s I-Team examined records of car accidents from the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) in the years 2010 to 2012.
The research also showed that the Suffolk County town of Brentwood had the most alcohol-related crashes in the greater New York area.
Suffolk County had 3,561drunk driving car accidents. Nassau County had 2,366. The top New York City borough was Brooklyn, with 1,728. Suffolk police explain their dubious record as a consequence of the large number of bars and restaurants in the county as well as having the most cars registered in New York State. There are 1.5 million people in Suffolk and not much public transit. One police inspector told the investigative team, all these factors combined mean that, “you’ve got a problem.”
The police department in Suffolk County conducts occasional DWI checkpoints, but they more frequently patrol areas with records of drunk driving accidents. They determine where they should wait for drivers using the same information as used by the I-Team.
The investigation also looked at New Jersey and Connecticut. In New Jersey, Bergen County was the worst for drunk drivers, with one of the most dangerous spots being Route 17 and Highland Cross in Rutherford. In Connecticut, the worst place was in Fairfield County, where there were four alcohol-related deaths on Route 8 in Shelton, more than any other intersection in the state.
Advocacy groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving say that in addition to having more patrols at intersections known to have drunk driving accidents, people whose licenses have been suspended should always have an interlock device on their cars as well. Just suspending a license, according to an organization spokesperson, doesn’t prevent someone from driving. However, making it impossible to start the car without passing the breath test keeps drunk people off the road, according to the organization.
Source: NBC New York, “I-Team: Suffolk County Has Most Alcohol-Related Crashes in State,” Feb. 27, 2014.