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Summertime DWI review shows decline in arrests

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Thu, Jul 19th 2018 10:40 am
Bob and Angie Kwiatkowski (center), founders of Crusade Against Impaired Driving, present a check to John Sullivan, director of the Erie County STOP-DWI Office (second from right). CAID was formed by the Kwiatkowskis in 1998 after their daughter, Karen, was killed by a drunk driver. Joining the Kwiatkowskis and Sullivan are, from left, Village of Kenmore Police Chief Peter Breitnauer, Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz, and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.
Bob and Angie Kwiatkowski (center), founders of Crusade Against Impaired Driving, present a check to John Sullivan, director of the Erie County STOP-DWI Office (second from right). CAID was formed by the Kwiatkowskis in 1998 after their daughter, Karen, was killed by a drunk driver. Joining the Kwiatkowskis and Sullivan are, from left, Village of Kenmore Police Chief Peter Breitnauer, Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz, and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.
Poloncarz, Jancewicz, Sullivan joined by Kwiatkowski family to spread message of continuing fight against DWI; Kwiatkowskis formed Crusade against Impaired Driving Foundation in 1998 after family member was killed by drunk driver
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Wednesday by Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz, Kenmore Village Police Chief Peter Breitnauer, and members of the Crusade Against Impaired Driving Foundation to review county DWI arrests through mid-year. He also accepted a donation from CAID to the STOP-DWI office.
DWI arrests have declined by 6 percent countywide through the first half of 2018 as compared to 2017. During the period from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018 - the year since the debut of ridesharing in Erie County - countywide DWI arrests have declined by nearly 2 percent.
"The decline in DWI numbers is good news for all county residents, but still leaves room for improvement, and I thank STOP-DWI Office Director John Sullivan and our partners in law enforcement for their continuing vigilance and dedication to keeping our roads safer," Poloncarz said. "I also thank our partners at CAID, Bob and Angie Kwiatkowski, for their 20 years of work in educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, they dedicated their time and energy to the prevention of impaired driving and, for two decades, devoted themselves so that others might be spared the sad and life-altering consequences of DWI. It is my privilege to remember Karen today, and to accept this generous donation of $12,300, which will support the victim and public education efforts of the Erie County STOP-DWI Office."
On March 6, 1998, Karen Kwiatkowski was killed in a crash caused by a drunken driver. Her family established the 501(c) (3) CAID foundation and, for many years, organized vigils and activities to raise funds to promote awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.
The Kwiatkowski family has announced an end to foundation activities and donated the balance of foundation assets to the STOP-DWI Office. The funds will be used to support a DWI public perception survey and procure traveling exhibits for display at Erie County high schools and public events.
Angie Kwiatkowski said, "Our family is extremely grateful to the volunteers and family friends that worked alongside us at CAID fundraising events. The generous gift of your time and effort means the world to us and helped make today's donation possible. Thank you for remembering Karen, and promoting our message to not drive while impaired."
Sullivan said, "I am extremely grateful to the Kwiatkowski family for their generosity. For many years, CAID and the STOP-DWI Office were partners in a mission to prevent impaired driving and, through this kind donation, our work in victim service and public education will continue."
Jancewicz said, "We continue to see a decline in the number of DWI arrests, which is a result of strict enforcement, prosecution and public awareness regarding the dangers and consequences of driving while intoxicated. We will continue to strongly encourage motorists who are celebrating to plan ahead for a safe ride home."
Breitnauer said, "The Erie County Chiefs of Police Association representing the cities, towns and villages of Erie County have and will continue to strictly enforce the laws against impaired and drunken driving. As evidenced by the statistics here today, there is no excuse to drive under the influence. Think before you drink."
For more information on the Erie County Department of Central Police Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/cps/; on the Erie County STOP-DWI Office, visit http://www.stopdwi.org/initiatives-Erie.

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