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7/03/12: Poloncarz Previews County Designated Driver Project


Independence Day Kickoff for New Program to Include Information, Enforcement

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today by members of the Erie County STOP-DWI office and members of law enforcement to preview the Designated Driver Program that was recently unanimously approved by the Erie County Legislature. The privately funded program will provide a safe way home for intoxicated drivers and their vehicles, using designated drivers supplied by Designated Drivers of Buffalo (“DDoB”).

“With Independence Day here and summer in full swing, it is imperative that people act responsibly on our roadways,” said Poloncarz. “That responsibility especially applies to those who have had too much to drink and are in no condition to drive. The Erie County Designated Driver Project is a smart way to remove intoxicated drivers from the road, protecting other drivers and citizens in the process.”

The Project will be run through the Erie County STOP-DWI office, which, in conjunction with DDoB, will seek to recruit up to 20 establishments to participate in the program. Participating establishments will receive educational materials on how to identify intoxicated patrons and how to intervene to prevent them from driving.

“The Designated driver Program is a terrific addition to our overall DWI prevention project,” said John Sullivan, Director of the Erie County STOP-DWI Office. “It’s an easy and affordable alternative to drunken driving and we hope that people take advantage of it rather than risk arrest or causing a crash.”

Promotional materials and on-site advertising will be available at each establishment to raise awareness of the Designated Driver Project and to encourage patron participation. For each call they receive, DDoB will provide two drivers; one to drive the patron home in the patron’s car, and another to follow.

"Collaboration with Designated Drivers of Buffalo is a perfect complement to the efforts of Erie County law enforcement,” said John Glascott, Commissioner of Central Police Services. “Local police agencies, the Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police detect and arrest drunken drivers every day. Our hope is that Erie County residents plan ahead for their travel plans, avoid the trouble that comes with DWI, and above all, enjoy a safe and fun 4th of July holiday.”

“We are very excited to partner with Erie County in this unique program,” said Michael Mule, General Manager of Designated Drivers of Buffalo. “We are so excited to be able to work with the county law enforcement as well as local establishments to form this partnership that will ultimately help save so many lives. In today’s climate we understand that people still want to go out and have a good time. There is nothing wrong with that, we just ask that you take the appropriate measures to get home safely without causing harm to you or someone else. This partnership will really help to enforce that.”

Funding for the program, $19,000 in 2012, was all privately donated, with no County funds or DWI fine revenue involved. Among the donors are the Erie County Police Chiefs Benevolent Association, Erie County Restaurant Association, DIAGEO, and local distributors of Budweiser, Coors, and Miller beer. All funding received is in the STOP-DWI Reserve Account.

For more information on Erie County STOP-DWI visit   http://www.erie.gov/stopdwi/  or call 716-858-6291

For more information on Designated Drivers of Buffalo visit    http://www.ddobny.com/  or call 716-713-7703