POLONCARZ, JANCEWICZ REVIEW FALLING DWI NUMBERS
Drop in DWI arrests seen locally and statewide; severe consequences, ride sharing, strict enforcement seen as contributing to decline
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz, Director of the Erie County STOP-DWI Office John Sullivan, and Chief of the Orchard Park Police Department Mark Pacholec to review Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) incidents during the summer months across Erie County. Data from the STOP-DWI office indicates that DWI arrests for the period July 3 – September 17 are down from last year; in 2016 there were 597 DWI arrests in this period while in 2017 there were 532. This represents a decrease of 10.8% during the period, with much of the decline occurring since August 20.
“There are a number of factors that influence incidents of driving while intoxicated and many tools to use in decreasing the number of offenses even further,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Vigilant work by law enforcement and our STOP-DWI office and a greater understanding by the public of the severe consequences for DWI offenses are at the forefront of keeping impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.”
Arrests for DWI have declined in general since 2016, with the total YTD in 2017 down 4% from the same period in 2016 (1,932 arrests through mid-September 2017 and 2,019 arrests in the same period in 2016).
CPS Commissioner James Jancewicz said, “The decline in DWI incidence is good news and shows that generally, people seem to be more aware of the dangers and consequences that drunk driving presents. However, we need to be constantly vigilant, always reinforcing the message of those dangers, and ready to prosecute those who choose to engage in this destructive behavior.
STOP-DWI Office Director John Sullivan added, “The combined effects of active police enforcement, harsh sanctions, and the availability of easy alternatives to drinking and driving are driving down DWI arrests and crashes. Responsive and sustained action by police and prosecutors will attempt to hold and improve on this momentum.”
For more information:
On the Department of Central Police Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/cps/
On the STOP-DWI office, visit http://www2.erie.gov/cps/index.php?q=stop-dwi