About Stop Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Programs
STOP-Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) was legislated in New York State as a response to thousands of injuries and deaths caused each year by drunk drivers. Studies of automobile crashes have repeatedly shown that drinking and driving are hazardous and high-risk combinations and that a general deterrence model can help combat drunk driving. Utilizing FOUR MAJOR COMPONENTS, the Steuben County local options program was established in November 1981 to provide this general deterrence approach:
A) ENFORCEMENT: Thirteen (13) local Police Departments along with the Sheriff's Department and the New York State Police throughout Steuben County, have made a commitment to looking for and arresting drunk drivers. STOP-DWI has funded two special DWI patrol cars which patrol the roads at peak late-night hours to increase a driver's chances of being arrested if driving drunk. To facilitate law enforcement's DWI work, screening devices, breathalyzers, radar units, and audiovisual equipment have been purchased by STOP DWI. Also, the New York State Police assist in periodic Road sobriety Check Points. Steuben County DWI arrests have increased by 23% since STOP-DWI.
B) ADJUDICATION: includes Prosecution, Public Defender, and Magistrates:
Prosecution: all DWI cases are logged on the Steuben County computer in the District Attorney's Office. The computer keeps track of all DWI cases and informs each Court of DWI case status monthly. DWI funds are used to administer this program. Convictions for DWI and DWAI in Steuben County have increased by over 100% since STOP-DWI.
C) REHABILITATION: Steuben County STOP-DWI supports the belief that problem drinkers must be identified and treated if we hope to solve the DWI problem. Through the Steuben County Alcohol Abuse Program, offenders are evaluated for alcohol problems; and, where necessary, alcohol counseling is mandated. This program provides the only certified treatment rehabilitation in Steuben County. Also, as part of our ongoing Rehabilitation Program, STOP-DWI provides funds to assist in the supervision of DWI Probationers. The funds cover expenses for the Probation Officer when supervising serious DWI offenders.
D) PUBLIC INFORMATION and EDUCATION: In addition to consistent Enforcement, Prosecution, and Rehabilitation, STOP-DWI focuses on a wide variety of programs geared toward raising public awareness and enhancing the education of over 1,400 students in Steuben County.
The Bath Area Hope for Youth, The Steuben Council on Addictions, and Hornell Area Concern for Youth is a tri-agency effort to spread awareness to our high school students. Our STOP-DWI Program provides funds for Outreach counselors, educational materials, and resources. The three Agencies' staff "professionals", use films, lectures, role-plays, and problem-solving in their comprehensive drinking and driving program. "Alcohol Awareness Days" in our schools is also sponsored by STOP-DWI. Promotional items with numerous STOP-DWI messages, plus radio and newspaper media messages are spread throughout the county; films are loaned to schools and community groups.
The Steuben County STOP-DWI Program is entirely funded through drunk driving fines received through town, village, city, and county courts.