The STOP-DWI Program (Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated) was enacted by the New York State Legislature in November, 1981, for the purpose of empowering counties to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related crashes within the context of a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining alcohol and highway safety program. All fines collected for alcohol and other drug-related traffic offenses occurring in a county are returned to the county for the operation of the STOP-DWI Program. It should be noted that no county money is used to support the STOP-DWI budget.
In 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed November as STOP-DWI Month. Teri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee stated, “It is important this month, as so many families gather to celebrate the holidays, that we continue to spread the message that drunk driving is dangerous, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this effort.”
In Allegany County a little over half of our budget goes to enforcement, prosecution and supervision.
Funds are provided to local police departments for DWI-specific patrols, to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution of DWI and related cases, and to the Probation Department for supervision of individuals convicted of DWI and related offenses. The balance of the budget goes to provide day-to-day support of the office and to efforts to educate the public regarding drinking and driving.
One of our major educational efforts is the Annual Fall SADD Conference where youth of our county are educated on destructive decisions. In the past we have addressed topics such as bullying and synthetic drugs, and especially drinking and driving. The 2018 conference addressed Healthy Relationships. This was well-received by the students.
In September the Allegany County STOP-DWI Program was notified of receipt of a grant of $12,300 from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee through the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation. This grant will provide funding for eight DWI Crackdown patrols for specified holiday periods during the 2018-2019 federal fiscal year. This funding is in addition to that already being provided through the annual STOP-DWI budget. Local police departments will provide staffing for county-wide patrols for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Holiday Season, Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Specific patrol dates will be released before each period in an effort to impact on the public’s decision to drink and drive. Reports from prior Crackdowns indicate that individuals are aware of the crackdowns and many make the decision to either not drink or to use a designated driver.
The STOP-DWI Office works with many groups and members of the community to continue to make an impact on the choices of individuals regarding drinking and driving. We are an active member of Partners for Prevention in Allegany County as we strive to reduce alcohol/substance use. We work together collaboratively to create a healthy environment for our youth and to enact positive change in the community. There are a number of on-going initiatives being done through the coalition and many individuals and agencies are working together with prevention efforts.
Remember, Prevention Works!