Unless your idea of a good time is spending a night (or more) in jail this Labor Day, Suffolk County officials warned Friday that enforcement of driving and boating while intoxicated laws will be ramped up this holiday weekend.
With the mangled wreckage of the Silver Bullet, the boat West Islip's Christopher Mannino was killed on in an drunk boating crash in June, just yards away, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said sobriety checkpoints will be in place on land and sea.
"As we are about to kick off Labor Day weekend, we want to send a very clear and a very strong message to boaters and to drivers that if you make the decision to drink while driving a motor vehicle or driving a boat, you are putting yourself in jeopardy of this weekend of arrest," Bellone said during a press conference at the Suffolk County Police Department's Marine Bureau in Great River.
The Marine Bureau conducted its first ever BWI checkpoint last weekend, checking 23 vehicles and making two arrests, SCPD Commissioner Edward Webber said.
So far this year, there have been 15 arrests, which is more than 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined, Webber said.
"As the summer ends, we are asking residents to make responsible decisions, he said.
Besides checkpoints, there will also be DWI saturation patrol and an enhanced motorcycle enforcement initiative, both funded by grant money, in place this weekend, officials said.
Three people were at a checkpoint in Huntington Station early Friday morning for DWI and police officials said they will provide the media with the names of those arrested over the weekend.
"Sadly, there will be those who will not heed the county executive's warning," Suffolk County Police Chief of Department James Burke said. "For those of you who do that, you very well may be among the list of people we release to the media on Tuesday and wind up spending your Labor Day in jail."