Statewide DWI enforcement campaign planned for holiday; county executive, commissioner review DWI arrests in 2019
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Monday by Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz, Director of the Erie County STOP-DWI Office John Sullivan, and President of the Erie County Chiefs of Police Association Greg Wickett to provide an update on driving while intoxicated arrests in Erie County in 2019. Their goal also was to promote safe driving around Fourth of July weekend.
Through June 30, 1,254 drivers were arrested for impaired driving, comparable to arrest totals from 2018, but down 11% from 2017.
“It is encouraging that we are in a period of declining arrests, with more and more people understanding both the effects that DWI crashes have on our community and that the penalties associated with a DWI arrest can be legally and personally overwhelming. With the extended weekend coming up, it is important that people drive responsibly on our roadways,” Poloncarz said. “That responsibility especially applies to those who have had too much to drink and are in no condition to drive. Individuals who find themselves in such a situation should make alternative plans to get home, keeping themselves and everyone else on the road safer.”
Jancewicz added, “Police agencies all over the county will add dedicated DWI patrols this weekend. The reduction in DWI arrests is good news and is evidence of the consistent efforts of law enforcement to detect and arrest impaired drivers. We must continue our vigilance and be ready to prosecute those who disregard this message and engage in this destructive behavior.”
“The special DWI patrols are a good way to enhance the high priority we put on drinking and driving prevention,” Wickett said. “Our goal here is to remind drivers to find a safe way home so that they don’t hurt themselves or others; and for drivers who will not take this advice, law enforcement will be on patrol looking for you.”
“The Erie County STOP-DWI Office is glad to join similar offices across the state in promoting a statewide DWI crackdown during the Fourth of July holiday” Sullivan said. “We want drivers to be more aware of the penalties associated with DWI, the alternatives to driving after drinking, and to plan ahead for a safe ride home.”