The mission of the Chemung County STOP/DWI has been to reduce the incidence of drinking and driving by:
- Increased public awareness of the risks of drinking and driving.
- Increase the identification of the drinking driver through enforcement.
- Maintaining a positive public support in getting the drinking driver off the road.
- Timely and consistent application of the legal penalties for DWI/DWAI.
Chemung County STOP DWI Program puts a critical emphasis on "special" and highly visible enforcement in conjunction with a public awareness and education program. This also includes the education of law enforcement officers in DWI laws, enforcement, and victim awareness.
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
Chemung County STOP-DWI –
The Chemung County STOP-DWI Program's mission is to improve highway safety through the prevention of drunk driving in our community. As a result of STOP-DWI's comprehensive effort, Chemung County has achieved much success in the effort to combat drunk driving: many lives have been saved; the number of people seriously injured has been dramatically reduced and cultural attitudes concerning drinking and driving have changed.
Key to the success of Chemung County's STOP-DWI efforts has been the continued focus on the core components of the program: law enforcement, prosecution and education/public awareness. Chemung County has reduced the incidence of driving while intoxicated by maintaining a highly visible law enforcement campaign, supporting prosecution efforts, lobbying for tougher laws to deal with DWI offenders while developing an education and public awareness campaign to keep the issue out in front of the public.
Pursuant to Article 31 Section 1197 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, the Chemung County STOP-DWI Program develops and coordinates a comprehensive DWI countermeasures program - that places a priority on general deterrence – the prevention of drunk driving through the increased certainty of arrest and conviction. To that end, STOP-DWI funds extra police patrols that are dedicated to DWI enforcement. STOP-DWI also provides specialized breath testing equipment and video cameras to police agencies as well. The District Attorney's office receives funds to hire an additional prosecutor to specialize in DWI cases. STOP-DWI also funds a position with the Chemung County Probation Department to deal with recidivist DWI offenders.
In addition, STOP-DWI funds a large print and electronic media campaign in order to heighten awareness and educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving, the increased certainty of arrest and harsh penalties one faces if convicted.
STOP-DWI also sponsors numerous training seminars for prosecutors, police, educators and treatment professionals who deal with various aspects of the drunk driving issues. STOP-DWI works with the private sector, local school districts, not for profit organizations and the Drinking Driver Program to conduct outreach programs and community based education efforts.