D-W-I arrests in Central New York appear to be on the decline thanks in part to stricter enforcement and a change in social attitudes. In Onondaga and Madison Counties in particular, there was a decrease in D-W-I arrests of just more than 15 percent during 2013.
Partner at the Tully Rinckey law firm Don Kelly says they’ve seen a noticeable reduction in the number of DWI cases coming into their office.
This week, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services released statistics that show the number of adult arrests for drunk driving decreased for a fourth consecutive year. In the Central New York region, it was down by about 10 percent in 2013.
Recent changes to New York State laws and regulations that enhanced the penalties for drunk driving offenses might also be factors:
- 2006: Creation of a new DWI offense called “aggravated driving while intoxicated” (ADWI) for drivers with a BAC level of 0.18 percent or greater.
- 2008: Hike in mandatory surcharges and crime victim assistance fees for DWI felony, misdemeanor, and violation convictions.
- 2009: Requirement for offenders who drove while drunk or while drug impaired and with children under the age of 16 years old in the vehicle to be automatically charged with a Class E felony.
- 2010: Requirement for all drivers convicted of misdemeanor and felony DWI charges to install, at their own expense, an interlock ignition device (IID) in any vehicle they own or operate for at least six months.
- 2012: NYS DMV enacts new license restrictions on driver’s seeking to restore their license after a DWI conviction. In certain cases, drivers may permanently lose their licenses.