The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has once again announced that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has issued a proclamation that designates the month of November as STOP-DWI month. The New York State Special Traffic Options for Driving While Intoxicated (STOP-DWI) Program was established in November of 1981 to coordinate state and local efforts to reduce impaired-driving offenses and to prevent crashes across the state. Since the program was enacted, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes on New York’s roadways have decreased 74 percent. Over the past year in Allegany County, we have also seen a decrease in DWI arrests. There also has been a change in leadership. Long-time Coordinator Linda Edwards retired at the end of last year, and was replaced by Brian Perkins. It hasn’t changed the commitment to making our roads safer and working toward zero alcohol related deaths on our roadways.
STOP-DWI month falls in November for a couple reasons. First, to acknowledge the anniversary of the establishment of the program. Second, it is a very important time to relay the message of the program. With the Holiday season approaching, there are a lot of people out on the road to visit families. There are also a lot of people enjoying time with their families by having some drinks. This combination can become fatal if some responsibility is not added in. This is where the goal of the STOP-DWI program comes in. It is not the goal to try to prevent people of legal drinking age from enjoying a couple drinks with family, but it is about making sure that everyone out on the road can get home safely. The “Have A Plan” mobile app was created to help with this situation. You can download it here, http://stopdwi.org/mobileapp, and it can take you through the steps of how to get home safely. Whether that plan involves getting a ride from a friend, or calling for a ride from elsewhere, we want everyone to easily be able to get home alive.
Please be safe this time of year, and all year long. Be responsible, have a plan, and make it home alive. For more information on the STOP-DWI program, visit http://stopdwi.org.
Remember Prevention Works!