SARATOGA COUNTY — While this holiday season will be spent celebrating with friends and family, and looking forward to the blessings of a New Year, the law enforcement community across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.
Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Edward Kinowski announced on Dec. 13 that Saratoga County police agencies will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving, this holiday season. The impaired driving crackdown runs from Dec. 15,2018 untilJan. 1, 2019.During this period New York State Police, CountySheriffandmunicipallaw enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.
STOP-DWI stands for “SpecialTrafficOptionsProgram forDrivingWhileImpaired.”State Legislature created the program in 1981; it empowers counties to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. The STOP-DWI Holiday Crack Down is one of many state- wide enforcement initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’sTrafficSafety Committee. The State-wide STOP- DWI Crack Down Campaign also targets the 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.
While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug- related fatalities, still many lives are lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers.
Research shows that high- visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem. Highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.
STOP-DWI is financially self-sustaining. Efforts are funded entirely from fines paid by convicted drunken drivers. According to stopdwi.org New York’s STOP-DWI program is the Nation’s first and only self- sustaining impaired driving program. Other states have implemented components of self- sufficiency, but none to the degree of New York State.
STOP-DWI has a mobile app called “have a plan” which gives users convenient resources to locate and call a taxi, create a designated driver list, information on Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels and way to report a suspected a drunk driver. The app is available for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones. To download the app visit www. stopdwi.org/mobileapp.