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New York's STOP-DWI program has reduced drunk driving crashes

The New York Sate Special Traffic Options for Driving While Intoxicated (STOP-DWI) program was put into effect throughout the state in 1981. It was established to help local and state police agencies better coordinate their efforts to reduce drunk driving crashes statewide. Since it was first instituted, these types of collisions have gone down by 74 percent.

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management, alcohol-involved crashes have gone down by 10 percent since 2009. The percentage of incidents resulting in an injury have declined by 16 percent. Fatalities have also gone down by 30 percent.

When the STOP-DWI program was first created, it was one of the first in the country aimed at reducing drunk driving crashes. Since then, many other states have created similar programs.

Law enforcement agencies from across New York collaborate on educating the public about the dangers of impaired-driving through public awareness campaigns.

Funding for New York's program comes exclusively from fines that courts collect from those convicted of drugged or drunk driving offenses.

New York's Department of Motor Vehicles' executive deputy commissioner announced this week that he's pleased with the success that the STOP-DWI program has had over the near 40 years that it's been in existence. He says that more can still be done to prevent crashes. Families who gather for the holidays this month need to continue to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving, the commissioner stressed.

In that same statement, he also announced that some 270 law enforcement officers across the state just completed the Drug Recognition Expert workshop earlier this month. This training will help law enforcement officers better identify when a driver is impaired from drugs instead of alcohol.

Many of us are aware of how alcohol can adversely impact a driver's motor skills and cause them to get into a crash. What many people don't realize is that both prescription and illicit drugs can have the same impact on a driver's ability to focus and control their vehicles.

Motorists who are arrested for impaired driving put their freedom on the line. A Mahopac DWI attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.

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