ALBANY — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has announced the start of STOP-DWI Month in New York state.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently issued a proclamation designating the month of November as STOP-DWI Month. The New York State Special Traffic Options for Driving While Intoxicated (STOP-DWI) Program was established in November 1981 to coordinate state and local efforts to reduce impaired-driving offenses and to prevent crashes across the state. Since the program was enacted, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes on New York’s roadways have decreased 74 percent, officials said..

“We have made tremendous progress in New York thanks to the STOP-DWI program, and we look forward to building on that success and continuing to save lives,” said Terri Egan, DMV executive deputy commissioner and acting chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. “It is important this month, as so many families gather to celebrate the holidays, that we continue to spread the message that drunk driving is dangerous, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this effort.”

The NYS STOP-DWI Program is funded exclusively by fines collected from drunk and/or drugged driving convictions. It was the first program of its kind in the nation, and since it was enacted, has served as a model for similar programs across the country.

The program empowers localities to enact creative and collaborative strategies utilizing education, awareness and enforcement to address drunk and drugged driving and prevent tragedies resulting from impaired-driving crashes. The program provides a platform for STOP-DWI Coordinators from each county and the City of New York to exchange ideas and collectively discuss and act upon mutual objectives that help advance these goals.

Through this collaboration, Since 2009, data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and research shows that all alcohol-related crashes in New York have decreased by nearly 10 percent. Fatal alcohol-related crashes have fallen by nearly 30 percent and personal injury crashes have declined almost 16 percent.