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STOP-DWI stands for "Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated". The STOP-DWI Program was enacted by the State Legislature in 1981 for the purposes of empowering county governments to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes within the context of a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining alcohol and highway safety program.
The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s mission is to deter alcohol/drug impaired driving through enhanced enforcement, prosecution, rehabilitation, and education services.
The STOP-DWI legislation permits each of the state's counties to establish a County STOP-DWI Program which qualifies the county for the return of all fines collected for alcohol and other drug-related traffic offenses occurring in its jurisdiction. The STOP-DWI Program is funded by this fine revenue, not by tax dollars. In order to receive the fine money, a county must have a state-approved comprehensive STOP-DWI plan in place.
All 62 counties in New York State have opted to participate. Each county appoints a STOP-DWI coordinator, whose duties include the development of a program and the coordination of efforts by agencies involved in alcohol and highway safety.
Although the development and implementation of STOP-DWI programs rests with the counties, the New York State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles is charged with the task of approving the county plans.
The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program remains under the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, and continues to be a comprehensive, effective program and a viable community resource.
How STOP-DWI Combats Impaired Driving in Your Community
Each county is given broad discretion in the expenditure of these funds and in the development of its individual program. The "local option" concept set forth by the New York State Legislature merely requires that there is a non-duplication of related ongoing efforts.
The success of STOP-DWI is attributed to numerous factors. Perhaps most importantly, its self-sufficiency creates a focal point for maintaining a comprehensive program with a continuously high profile. The STOP-DWI programs are in a position to continuously renew and adjust strategies to maintain a high level of viability.
The goal of the STOP-DWI program is to reduce the rate of alcohol and other drug-related injuries and fatalities through the creation and funding of programs relating to enforcement, prosecution, probation, rehabilitation, public information, and education and administration.
Counties may support initiative such as: specially trained police units dedicated to DWI enforcement, special prosecutors and probation officers, rehabilitation services, and public information and education campaigns tailored to their communities. Some counties combine their efforts in certain areas. However, each program ultimately reflects the unique qualities and needs of the county. Strategies that work in one county will not necessarily work in another. Yet, from the diversity of needs comes innovation and creativity.
Brad Kendall, County Clerk; Eric Bickmann; Ann Rush, DC Dept. of Health; Jim Warner; Ernie Floegel, Board Chairman; William Grady, District Attorney; John Thomes, DC Legislator; Margaret Hirst, DC Dept. of Mental Hygiene; Sgt. Christine Lopez; Lt. Frank LaMonica; Marsha Rosenfeld, Nick Johnson, (RID); Tony Marchese, Dutchess/Putnam Restaurant & Tavern Association; Angela Flesland, DC Legislator; Matthew S. Vetare; Michael Hill, DDP; John Merwin, Supervisor, T/North East