- By New York State Governor's Office
Law enforcement agencies throughout the state issued 3,262 tickets for impaired driving during the STOP-DWI 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign, which ran from August 19 through September 7. During that time, officers also issued 116,292 tickets for other vehicle and traffic law violations, such as speeding and distracted driving.
"New York has zero tolerance for impaired driving and the results show reckless motorists will be caught and will be held accountable," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. "Our message is simple: drive sober or plan for a safe ride home. Impaired driving puts you and all those sharing the road at risk - it's just not worth it."
The STOP-DWI 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign, supported by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), occurs multiple times throughout the year to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes. According to data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany's Rockefeller College, New York's efforts to reduce impaired driving are succeeding. Fatal crashes involving an impaired driver have decreased more than 19 percent from 2010 to 2019.
Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "This was another successful campaign where dangerous drivers were forced to realize the consequences of their actions, and I applaud our state and local law enforcement officers for their commitment to this important effort. There's no excuse for impaired driving. Be smart. Drive sober or have a plan to get to your destination safely."
The STOP-DWI program is a major component of New York's efforts to combat impaired driving. 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.
In addition to the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign, the GTSC coordinates various traffic safety activities throughout the year, and supports ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle safety. The GTSC also sponsors critical training for law enforcement, provides resources for teen drivers and their parents, and promotes seatbelt use statewide.
Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "Our goal each day is to prevent impaired and reckless driving along with the needless deaths and injuries that often result. We will continue our enforcement and education efforts and improve highway safety for all New Yorkers."