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STOP DWI could get funding boost in New York

State lawmakers are calling for direct funding for New York’s Stop DWI programs, as they fear the money collected from impaired driving fees is not being used properly.

According to State Sen. Tim Kennedy, the program has been successful in reducing impaired driving in the state, with DWIs decreasing by around 70% in the first decade since the program was introduced. However, concerns have been raised that money from impaired driving fees is not going to where it should be.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Kennedy is now advocating for funds to be directed to county programs rather than the state’s general fund, saying that the move will help to reinforce anti-DWI programs at the local level. The proposed measure will allow communities across the state to have access to the funds that will help put forward education and prevention programs.

The STOP-DWI program began in 1981 with the goal of tailoring anti-impaired driving messages to specific regions of New York. In total, around $7 million is at stake for the program across the state, and lawmakers are hoping that the direct funding measure will be included in the final budget agreement, which is due to be passed on April 1.

State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo has echoed the senator’s sentiments, saying that funds are necessary for sobriety checkpoints, training, and other things that the program has done so well. She also emphasized the importance of the funding in addressing the high number of impaired driving incidents in the state.