WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- New York police geared up for a crackdown on Independence Day weekend, announcing an increased number of sobriety checkpoints and presence of law enforcement on roadways.

New York State Police issued roughly 3,200 traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend in 2012. After a crackdown last year with the state's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, state police issued more than 10,000 traffic tickets during the same weekend in 2013.

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that state police will be pursuing impaired, distracted or speeding motorists just as aggressively throughout this weekend.

"This holiday weekend, state police will be out in force to crack down on dangerous drivers," stated Cuomo in a press release. "The Fourth of July is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, and through this campaign we are working to keep our roads safe for all travelers."

Throughout the weekend, state police will hold many random sobriety checkpoints, increase DUI patrols and increase details on underage drinking and sales of alcohol to minors.

Both Rensselaer and Washington County sheriff departments in New York will also be increasing patrols.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office recommends planning a safe way home before going out, designateing a sober driver, and reporting suspicious drivers.

"Those who try to drink and drive this Fourth of July should be forewarned.


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We will be out in force looking for impaired drivers, and will catch and arrest you," wrote Washington County Undersheriff John Winchell in a press release. "No Warnings. No excuses. If you drive impaired, you will be arrested."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 179 people were killed in crashes during the Fourth of July period in 2012, and 44 percent of those crashes were alcohol related.

The non-emergency phone number for the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office is (518) 266-7640. The non-emergency number for the Washington County Sheriff's Office is (518) 746-2475. For more information about NHTSA or the DUI crackdown, visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg