New York is already crowing about lower traffic fatalities, now they plan to take their efforts aimed at distracted drivers one step further, allocation $3 million toward police anti-DUI efforts.

This week New York City transportation officials announced they had fewer traffic related fatalities in 2011 than they had since 1911. That’s a heck of a statistic, and certainly one worth bragging about.

The money will spent reimbursing New York counties for the costs of installing interlock ignition devices on those convicted of driving under the influence. The interlock device forces a driver to pass a self-administered breathalyzer test before the motor will start. If the driver does not blow into the attached device, or fails the test, they cannot start the vehicle. The devices cost the offender hundreds of dollars to install plus another $80 a month in maintenance fees. They have also been an effective tool in the fight against driving under the influence.

Since 2010, anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drunk driving charge has been required to install an interlock device.

That’s hardly the only effort New York has made when it comes to increasing driver safety. In 2009 the state passed the Child Passenger Protection Act which makes it a felony offense drive a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a passenger who is under the age of 16. In the past two years more than 1,500 people have been arrested under the law, making it another effective tool in the war against DUI.

NY defensive driving is hardly a difficult skill to master. All it requires is a good dose of common sense, and perhaps an online defensive driving course NY. Whatever you do, avoid getting behind the wheel when you are under the influence of anything except a desire to arrive at your destination safe and sound with all your passengers intact.

Image: Bill Longshaw /