Press Release - 08-13-2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
NEW YORK STATE ANNOUNCES IMPAIRED DRIVING CRACKDOWN
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Enforcement Campaign to Run from August 14 Through September 2
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that law enforcement agencies will be holding a statewide crackdown on impaired driving from Wednesday, August 14 through Monday, September 2. The STOP-DWI “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is designed to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes.
A press event to kick off the enforcement campaign was held this morning at the West Capitol Park in Albany. GTSC and DMV officials were joined by STOP-DWI coordinators, state and local law enforcement, and family members of a Colonie, New York teen who died as a result of an impaired driving crash. Niko DiNovo, 17, was a passenger in a vehicle that slammed into a local tavern. The driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The press event also highlighted the Amy Stock memorial trailer. Amy Stock was killed in a 2015 crash in Albany, NY when a drunk driver hit her vehicle. The drunk driver who hit Amy’s vehicle had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. The trailer contains the vehicle Amy was in when she was killed.
“Heartbreaking stories like Amy’s and Niko’s are the reason these initiatives are so important—to serve as a reminder of the tragic consequences of impaired driving,” said DMV Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “There is no excuse for drunk or drugged driving. Plan ahead and get a sober ride home. I thank our STOP-DWI coordinators and law enforcement agencies across the state for their help ensuring safety on our roads.”
During the 2018 enforcement campaign, law enforcement throughout the state issued 3,978 tickets for impaired driving and 165,531 tickets for other vehicle and traffic law violations.
STOP-DWI Association Chair and Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Captain Rob Richards said, “I encourage all New Yorkers to download the Have a Plan app which is available for Apple and Android devices. The app contains helpful information such as programing a designated driver list, locating and contacting a taxi or rideshare service, and information on blood alcohol content levels. In addition, users can report a suspected impaired driver. Knowledge is power. Having this information at your ready is key to making responsible decisions.”
New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “While we want everyone to enjoy the final weeks of summer, we want them to do so responsibly. During this stepped-up enforcement period, State Troopers will be highly visible and will have zero tolerance for reckless individuals who choose to drive while impaired. If you’re celebrating this Labor Day weekend, don’t get behind the wheel impaired. Intoxicated and drugged drivers can injure or kill other motorists and their passengers. Have a plan and you could save a life – maybe even your own.”
A major component of New York’s efforts to combat impaired driving is the STOP-DWI program. STOP-DWI stands for “Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated.” The state’s STOP-DWI program is the nation’s first and, to date, only self-sustaining impaired driving program. The program’s efforts are funded entirely from fines paid by convicted impaired drivers. Importantly, the program’s coordinators are comprised of diverse professional backgrounds, including law enforcement and non-law enforcement.
The STOP-DWI program, under GTSC oversight, was created to empower counties to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes. All 62 counties have opted to participate. Some examples of programs that STOP-DWI funds are: specially trained police units dedicated to DWI enforcement, hiring of special prosecutors and probation officers to handle the caseload, monitoring ignition interlock devices, supporting rehabilitation services, and developing public information and education campaigns tailored to communities within their respective regions. To learn more, visit http://www.stopdwi.org/.