|A Review of New York State's STOP-DWI Program|
Other State Self-Sufficiency Models
It is important to briefly discuss other models for self-sufficient impaired-driving programs. In the context of self-sufficient impaired-driving programs in the United States, New York is the most evolved and most comprehensive program, and receives no tax dollar support. Other State and local programs are varied in terms of funding mechanisms, such as taxes or other support. Select programs will be briefly described to provide context for better understanding New York’s STOP-DWI program.
New Jersey, has adopted some principles of self-sufficiency. New Jersey is one of the smaller States, covering just over 8,700 square miles with a population numbering 8,590,303 people (2002). The State is comprised of 21 counties.
From 1982 to 2002, alcohol-related fatalities in New Jersey declined 52 percent (622 to 299). The decline may be at least partly accredited to New Jersey’s passage of the Alcoholic Beverage Tax Law (R.S.54:41-1) and its Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund (AEREF) (N.J.S.A. 26:2B-32). Both were established in 1984. The Alcoholic Beverage Tax applies to the first sale or delivery of alcohol to retailers in the State and is based upon the number of gallons sold or otherwise disposed of within New Jersey (State of New Jersey Division of Taxation, 2002). The tax is collected from licensed manufacturers, wholesalers, and State beverage distributors. The rate varies by beverage type and is on a “per gallon” basis. Table 7 illustrates the different rates charged by beverage type.
Table 7. Type of Beverage Tax Rate per Gallon.
Note: P.L. 1997, C. 153, reduced the tax rate on hard apple ciders containing between 3.2% and 7% of alcohol by volume from $0.70/gallon to $0.12/gallon, effective November 1, 1997.
Revenues generated by the law are deposited in the State treasury for general State use, except that beginning on July 1, 1992, $11 million of the tax revenue began being deposited annually into the AEREF (State of New Jersey Division of Taxation, 2002).
The AEREF was created to support programs aimed at alcohol and substance abusers. Its principal source of funding is the alcoholic beverage excise tax. The law dedicates 75 percent of the excise tax revenue to rehabilitation, 15 percent to enforcement and 10 percent to education (N.J.S.A. 26:2B-32). Additional funding (approximately $3 million annually) is also derived from DWI offenders who are required by law to pay a fee of $100 to the AEREF (N.J.S.A.26:2B-32) and to participate in the screening, evaluation, and referral program of the Intoxicated Driving Program Unit (housed in the Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse).
Two State agencies manage New Jersey’s impaired-driving program. The Division of Highway Traffic Safety (DHTS) oversees the State’s Federal 402 program and the AEREF. New Jersey’s 402 resources have been directed largely at the statewide impaired-driving program management. Money from the AEREF is distributed to all 21 counties in accordance with a statutory allotment formula that considers population size, income, and the estimated program needs of each county (N.J.S.A.26:2B-34a). However, in order for a county to receive its annual allotment from the fund, it first must: (1) prepare and submit for State approval an “annual comprehensive plan for the provision of community services to meet the needs of alcoholics and drug abusers” (N.J.S.A.26:2B-33), and (2) contribute matching funds equal to at least 25 percent of the amount for which it is eligible under the statutory allotment formula (N.J.S.A.26:2B-34b). Funded programs are usually managed by the respective State, community, or county law enforcement agency.
The Department of Health and Senior Services administers the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program – the evaluation and rehabilitation components. The IDRC includes representation by each of the 21 counties. Each IDRC conducts screening, assessment, education, some treatment, and referrals for DWI offenders. Centers serve as court monitors of a person’s compliance with the ordered treatment, service alternative, or community service.
Table 8. New Jersey DWI Penalties, 2004.
* If no, motor vehicle registration certificate and license plates revoked for 2 years.
There are specific elements of other impaired-driving programs at the State and local levels that are self-sufficient or use portions of offender fines, fees or use surcharges and assessments to fund prevention and deterrence activities. For example, in one Maryland county, offenders pay fees for stays in DWI facilities. In New Mexico, traffic citations include a fee allocated in part to the law enforcement agency issuing the citation and also to a fund for prevention and education activities. The courts collect the fee, which is ultimately used in part for funding new and existing impaired-driving prevention activities and programs. There is no current comprehensive analysis of self-sufficient impaired driving programs in the United States at this time.