Robert J. Lighthall, Coordinator
Oswego County STOP-DWI Program
39 Churchill Rd.
Oswego, NY 13126
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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STOP-DWI: Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated was authorized by the NYS legislature in 1981 and provided the return of monies for impaired driving violations to the counties in which they occurred, provided those counties established a "STOP-DWI" Program. The STOP-DWI Program purpose is to provide a, "...plan for coordination of county, town, city, village efforts to reduce alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities.”
The Oswego STOP-DWI Program was established in 1982. A plan is prepared yearly, and approved by the county legislature and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
Research indicates the most effective method of combating impaired driving is to use the general deterrence model. The model theory is a person’s perception is based on personal experience.
- Special enforcement increases the perception of arrest of those who drive while under the influence.
- Swift adjudication of individual cases improves the perception that it is an individual issue.
- Certain and severe punishment for those convicted emphases that message.
- Public information and education focus on the concept of choices and consequences allowing a reflection of what could happen.
- Reduce the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes.
- To promote DWI prevention as a public priority.
- Coordinate local efforts in law enforcement, prosecution, probation, rehabilitation, public information, education, and administration.
Key Components of the Oswego County STOP-DWI
- Law Enforcement - Selective enforcement units patrol at peak hours in high risk areas.
- Prosecution – Assist the Oswego County District Attorney's Office handling of all DWI.
- Probation – Provide advanced alcohol test kits to improve supervision of convicted impaired drivers. Since January 2001, through the combined efforts of STOP-DWI, and the Oswego County Probation Department, the victim impact panel is presented on a monthly basis, and takes in first offenders from local courts, along with referrals directly from probation. Approximately 30 offenders attend each monthly panel. Presentations are moderated by the STOP-DWI program coordinator. The panel consists of victims of DWI related crashes who reflect on their losses and the consequences of impaired driving.
- Rehabilitation – In 2000, Oswego County STOP-DWI, the Office of District Attorney and “COCOAA”, County of Oswego Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, developed an educational program for all drivers under 21 charged with alcohol related driving offenses. This program, titled “PROJECT U-TURN” is mandatory for all between the ages of 16 through 20, who have been charged with an alcohol related driving offense.
- Public Information and Education - The STOP-DWI Program provides public information and education both in local schools and to community events throughout the county. Our activities include use of Fatal Vision impairment goggles with activity mats and pedal carts on serpentine cone courses.
- Driver education class presentations.
- School health class awareness presentations about alcohol and drugs.
- “MOCK DWI” crash scenarios at local high schools. This presentation includes rescue, police investigation, death notification, defendant arraignment and lastly the funeral itself.
- School and community safety fair information and activity booths.
- Annual high school mini-grant program for post-prom events.