ALBANY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – According to NYS Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, local STOP-DWI programs are facing severe funding shortages.
Since 2010, revenue from this initiative has declined 55.5% statewide. This loss in revenue has created a significant financial burden for counties which are forced to make up the difference.
Lupardo says that these programs are at risk of eliminating services or even shutting down completely.
This would mean a stoppage in enforcement efforts like checkpoints, increased patrols during State crackdown periods, overtime for local police agencies, and less funding for rehabilitation programs and public awareness campaigns.
Lupardo, Senator Tim Kennedy, and other officials are calling upon Governor Kathy Hochul to prioritize STOP-DWI funding in her finalized state budget.
“Local STOP-DWI programs are crucial to safe roads and safe communities, said Lupardo. “This funding gap has been ignored for too long, putting essential services like sobriety checkpoints and driver rehabilitation at risk of elimination. At the same time, our state is facing new challenges, including the opioid crisis and designer drug use, that make impaired driving enforcement more critical than ever. STOP-DWI saves lives and is too important to put at risk.”
Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, said, “New York’s STOP-DWI Program has long been the backbone of the State’s efforts to reduce the incidence of impaired driving, and its success in doing so has been notable. It is imperative that the fiscal integrity of the program be restored and maintained, which is why we have advanced legislation to do so, and which is why I was proud to prioritize this, along with Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and our Conference, in the Senate one-house budget proposal. As we look forward to a finalized budget, it is our hope that this remains a priority for both houses and the Governor.”
The STOP-DWI program was created in 1981.