Drunk drivers on collision course

The infamous list of wrong-way drunk-drivers on Long Island just keeps growing. In a two-hour span Wednesday night, two more were caught, making it five in the past month — spurring renewed calls for upgraded roadways to head off another fatal accident.

At 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Timothy Griffin, 43, of Yaphank was arrested on the LIE in Calverton after he crossed a grassy median and kept driving. Michael Sharkey, chief of staff for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, said Griffin, who had a previous DWI conviction, was driving on a suspended license due to an unresolved July DWI arrest and was also found with marijuana.

At around 1:14 a.m. yesterday, after an eight-mile pursuit, Suffolk County police arrested Christopher Williams, 40, of East Northport on Sunrise Highway in Shirley. Det. Lt. Gail
Marrero said Williams nearly struck several cars and resisted arrest.

Last month, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice urged the state Department of Transportation to study additional road modifications. “These continuing episodes betray the statistics of how ‘rare’ wrong-way driving is and how urgent the need is for an engineering solution,” she said yesterday.

Eileen Peters, a Regional DOT spokeswoman, said proactive wrong-way signage was placed on Long Island ramps in 1994. “All of Long Island’s roads are safe as long as you are sober, alert and follow the rules of the road,” she said, noting that officials would also look at seven problematic spots listed in an informal Newsday reader survey.


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