MANHATTAN — The message is crystal clear from the NYPD: If you decide to drink and drive this holiday weekend, expect to face consequences.
It’s also the first Fourth of July where marijuana is legal and police say they are cracking down on that too.
July Fourth this year is a time to celebrate multiple occasions — our country’s independence and coming out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is not a time to drink and drive or to engage in other dangerous behavior that risks our own lives and those of our fellow New Yorkers,” Hank Gutman, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Transportation, said.
NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster says they will be extra vigilant.
“Officers on our highways and local streets will be laser-focused on impaired drivers,” Royster said.
“These officers are skilled and specifically trained to detect drivers that drive drunk or high on drugs.”
The police department just lost one of its own this April after Officer Anastasios Tsakos was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Queens.
The NYPD is urging everyone to catch a ride from someone they know or take a cab.
“If not, as you can see here, we have a ride for you,” Royster, pointing to the NYPD Highway Patrol motorcycles, said.
Even though marijuana is now legal, the NYPD is reminding everyone that you still can’t drive under the influence of that either.
“Just think about this and I’ll make it easy — the same rules that apply to driving drunk are the same rules that apply to smoking cannabis,” Royster added. “Let me be clear, if you decide to be selfish and get behind the wheel while impaired, the NYPD will arrest you, we’ll take your vehicle, and you will learn the consequences.”
The increased enforcement will start on Friday, July 2 and will run through late Monday, July 5.