A Review of New York State's STOP-DWI Program


Program Resources and Expenditures

The methods for constructing the groups and analyzing the population and resource data were described earlier, and are summarized in Table 11.

Table 11. Estimated Weighted Per Capita Resources, by Group.

County Group Total Resources Total Population Average (Weighted)
Per Capita Resources*
1 High Population
2 Moderate High
3 Moderate Low
4 Low Population

* The methodology for calculation of weighted budget per capita is described in the ExecutiveSummary and in
Section III.
Note: Of interest is that as population per county decreased, average per capita resources increased.
Data source(s): New York Department of Motor Vehicles, 2003 STOP-DWI Program Plans and County Budgets, United States Census Bureau (2000 data). Insufficient data for 2 counties (Hamilton, Wyoming).

Figures 13 and 14 describe in greater detail how STOP-DWI programs spend resources annually. The similarities among the four groups are that: (1) the majority of resources and activities are spent on enforcement countermeasures, (2) secondarily, most programs spend resources on the deterrence-model-related areas – court-related and probation activities. In contrast, the High Population (Urban) group spends considerable resources on public education and information activities, and has the most similar proportion and resources allocation dedicated to enforcement as the share with the Low Population (Rural) group. Enforcement has the highest proportion of budget dollars attributed to these activities for all programs.

Figure 13. Program Areas with Largest Share of Budget Resources, by Group.

Figure 13  - click for long description

Note(s): County Groups: 1=High Population (Above 500,000), 2=Moderate High Population (250,000-500,000), 3=Moderate Low Population (100,000-250,000), and 4=Low Population (Below 100,000).
Data source(s): New York Department of Vehicles, 2003, Local STOP-DWI Program Plans.

Figure 14. Estimated Annual Program Area Resource Allocation, Primary and Secondary Program Areas, by Group.

Figure 14  - click for long description

Note(s): County Groups: 1=High Population (Above 500,000), 2=Moderate High Population (250,000-500,000), 3=Moderate Low Population (100,000-250,000), and 4=Low Population (Below 100,000).
Data source(s): New York Department of Vehicles, 2003, Local STOP-DWI Program Plans.

There are STOP-DWI programs that budget zero dollars for a program component, either due to resource limitations or the presence of services and programs that may be defined as duplicative (e.g., local rehabilitation program funded by another sponsor, including State government). For rehabilitation, there were 14 (35%) programs with no dollars allocated while for probation there were 8 programs without budgeted program dollars. Four programs allocated zero program dollars for court-related activities while this occurred only twice for PI&E activities.

Major Impaired-Driving Program Activities

The STOP-DWI program is grounded in the general and specific deterrence models and based on the strict DWI/DWAI laws in New York, while supported by the substantial resources allocated for enforcement, court-related, and probation impaired-driving countermeasures.

Specific countermeasures rely on program budgets. Table 12 provides detail about countermeasure activities by programs and by the four groups. Administration is not discussed here; however, it is noted that one countermeasure, Victim Services, occurs within four of five program areas and is also budgeted within administration for a cumulative total of 45 percent. Victim Services primarily refers to Victim Impact Panels, where survivors and families, as well as offenders, present stories of injury and death attributed to impaired drivers. Education and training programs are those targeted toward providers within a program area, such as courses on adjudication of impaired drivers for prosecutors.

Other definitions of countermeasures for Table 12 include:

  • Equipment and Supplies (Enforcement, to Detect/Screen Impaired Drivers) refers to specialized equipment used in law enforcement, such as passive and active alcohol sensors.

  • DWI Patrols (Enforcement) are defined as law enforcement activities such as saturation or blanket patrols and mobilizations or sobriety checkpoints to detect impaired drivers on the roads.

  • Offender Supervision Programs (Court-Related, Probation) refers to prescribed programs to monitor DWI offenders, such as house arrest or other intensive supervision programs.

  • Special Prevention Focused Events (Public Education and Information) describes impaired-driving prevention events such as crash reenactments before graduation or prom activities.

Table 12. Most Frequently Reported Program Countermeasures, by All Programs, 2003.

Program Area
Mean % (Range)
Annual Program Budget
# (%) Programs
35% (11-86%)
Equipment & Supplies
58 (100%)
DWI Patrols
55 (95%
Education/Training Programs
24 (41%
18% (0-49%)
Dedicated DWI Attorney(s)/Staff
47 (81%)
Education/Training Programs
15 (26%)
Offender Supervision Programs
5 (9%)
DWI Victim Services*
5 (9%)
13% (0-44%)
Dedicated Officer(s)/Staff
45 (78%)
Education/Training Programs
8 (14%)
Intensive Supervision
8 (14%)
DWI Victim Services*
6% (0-27%)
Dedicated Counselor(s)/Staff
38 (66%)
DWI Victim Services
4 (7%)
14% (0-37%)
Underage Drinking Emphasis
54 (93%)
Special Prevention Focused Events
32 (55%)
DWI Victim Services**
10 (17%)
Advertising Billboards
4 (7%)

Note(s): N = 56 (insufficient data for Wyoming and Hamilton counties).
*The DWI Victim Services are distributed in different program areas. Cumulatively, these activities, primarily Victim Impact Panels, occur in 26 (45%) STOP-DWI programs.
** Includes DWI Victim Services allocated within Administrative Budget.
Data source(s): New York Department of Vehicles, 2003, Local STOP-DWI Program Plans (and FY 2003 Budget Estimates).

Table 12 highlights that the mean overall annual budget for Enforcement is significantly higher than any other one program area, and is the only program category where all programs spend STOP-DWI resources. The majority of programs also dedicate substantial resources to court-related and probation activities, and this trend has remained consistent, as discussed previously.

Next, an examination of who is enforcing the impaired-driving laws in New York is presented, by comparing who issues tickets for alcohol-related driving charges. Nonlocal police are defined to be those other than city/local or county law enforcement officers, such as university police at the State University of New York. As Enforcement is the program area where substantial resources are invested, the prevalence of local law enforcement supports the local program model.

Figure 15 describes the emphasis on local enforcement of impaired driving laws. More than 60,000 (80%) tickets were issued at the local level. The Low Population (Rural) group relies more heavily on enforcement by the New York State Police.

Figure 15. Impaired-Driving Tickets Issued by State Police and County Sheriffs,
by Group, 2002.

Figure 15  - click for long description

Note(s): County Groups: 1=High Population (Above 500,000), 2=Moderate High Population (250,000-500,000), 3=Moderate Low Population (100,000-250,000), and 4=Low Population (Below 100,000).
Data sources: ITSMR (2004); NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.

In discussing New York’s impaired-driving prevention program activities it is also important to note that, in 2001, admissions to alcoholism and substance abuse treatment facilities in New York State numbered over 286,000 residents, or 151.2 county residents per 10,000 persons (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 2004). A major provider of treatment is the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). The OASAS approach to prevention is grounded in the principle that alcohol and substance abuse is preventable and that prevention is the most cost-effective element in the continuum of alcohol and substance abuse services (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 1999). OASAS directly operates 13 addiction treatment centers throughout the State, which provide inpatient services to addicted persons and their families.

Also of significance is that, among the offender supervision programs, there are currently seven legally mandated ignition interlock programs in New York, located in Albany, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Onondaga, Suffolk, and Westchester counties (State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles, 2003). These programs are associated with major population centers, described as:

  • Albany (Albany);
  • Buffalo (Erie);
  • Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk);
  • Rochester (Monroe);
  • Syracuse (Onondaga); and
  • White Plains, New York metropolitan region (Westchester).

Finally, examples of new impaired-driving prevention initiatives recently described by STOP-DWI Coordinators and program plans include:

  • confiscation of the automobiles of motorists arrested for impaired driving in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, and Rennselear Counties;

  • alternative jail for hard core repeat offenders (Suffolk County);

  • underage drinking hotline and enforcement/prevention activities associated with 2003 beer keg registration law;

  • use of geographic information systems in data collection and analysis;

  • focus on border crossing and illegal drinking among underage youth; and

  • electronic ticket and accident reporting by the New York State Police in 2003.

New York DWI Courts

In recent years, New York has begun initiating courts specifically dedicated to addressing DWI offenders. The concept of a DWI court emerged from the American drug court model. The first drug court was established in 1989 in Miami, Florida. The purpose of the drug court is to expedite the time interval to get offenders into treatment and accountability programs before losing them to their addictions, and to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to benefit from treatment while under court supervision. The success experienced by the drug court in terms of retention and recidivism rates serve as a model for other populations: mental health courts, domestic violence courts, community courts, and DWI/DUI/DUID drug courts. A statewide evaluation of New York drug courts found a 29 percent lower recidivism rate among graduates than a comparison group over a three-year period (Center for Court Innovation, 2003).

In 2000, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) passed a resolution endorsing drug courts and other problem-solving courts (Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators, 2000). Since then, several New York counties have implemented DWI Courts to further address the State’s impaired-driving problem. The exact number is unknown since Department of Justice data varies in the numbers of courts planned and in operation.