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Ithaca police say there’s been sharp increase in DWI accidents

The Ithaca Police Department (IPD) is issuing a strong reminder about the dangers of impaired driving, especially during the holiday season, in light of a significant surge in DWI-related accidents and arrests.

National data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows a worrying trend, with a 14% increase in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths from 2020 to 2021. In New York State, alcohol-related crashes account for over 30% of all fatal accidents. The IPD emphasizes the preventable nature of these incidents, urging the community to make responsible decisions.

Ithaca, in particular, has witnessed a concerning rise in DWI incidents in 2023. The second half of the year saw a 233% increase in accidents involving impaired drivers, coupled with a 91% overall increase in DWI arrests by the IPD.

Notably, 43% of these arrests were related to accidents. The IPD is advocating for the public to be vigilant and take preventive measures such as arranging for a designated driver, utilizing ride-sharing services, public transportation, or taxis when attending festive events. The department reminds residents that alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time, stressing the importance of making smart choices to ensure a safe holiday season for all.