Watch CBS News

Nassau County Police Bringing Back DWI Unit

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Nassau County is bringing back a specialized police unit that targets DWI offenders as part of a new aggressive initiative to stop drinking and driving.

The Selective Enforcement Team (SET) is coming back after driving while intoxicated arrests dropped sharply after it was eliminated.

SET made an average of 2,641 DWI arrests between 2008 and 2011, according to Newsday. The arrests steadily declined from about 1,800 in 2012 to 1,500 last year, after the unit was disbanded three years ago.

Nassau County Police Bringing Back DWI Unit

The reconstituted SET team and DWI program will continue the strategy of finding DWI "hot spots,'' officials said.

The unit also will establish roving DWI checkpoints.

Nassau County Police Bringing Back DWI Unit

"We're adding 3,000 patrols, it'll end up being over 20,000 hours of patrol will be added to preventing drunk drivers from getting on the road," said Nassau's acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.

The $1 million cost of the new initiative is coming from forfeiture funds and won't cost taxpayers a dime.

"This is money from criminals, which has a delicious irony to it, and we're putting it out on the road to stop people from drinking and driving," said District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "To see one life lost to a drunk or drugged driver is one too many. This new initiative will save lives and help keep our roads safer as we approach the summer months."

DWI fatalities fell from 25 in 2011 and 2012 to 24 last year. DWI crashes fell from 611 in 2011 to 600 in 2012.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.