Suffolk County's STOP-DWI program is a comprehensive approach to reducing the incidence of alcohol related traffic fatalities which has proved effective since its inception in 1982. It includes the program areas of: enforcement, prosecution, probation, rehabilitation, public information and education. All of these are overseen by a small administrative staff.
Enforcement: Suffolk County STOP-DWI funds a special unit (SAFE-T) in the Suffolk County Police Department Highway Patrol which is solely dedicated to DWI enforcement and training. It consists of nine (9) officers and one sergeant who are on duty Tuesday through Saturday nights. In addition, STOP-DWI provides overtime, some equipment and training for the Suffolk County Police Department Highway Patrol, Park Police and precinct officers, as well as contracted overtime for DWI patrol with all the Town and Village Police Departments. The program also provides some equipment on consignment to the New York State Police and Park Police.
Prosecution: STOP-DWI funds salaries for two (2) Assistant District Attorneys with DWI caseloads.
Probation: Suffolk's landmark PAT (Probation Alcohol Treatment) program is the basis for our funding three (3) Probation Officers with DWI caseloads. We also provide funds for a Probation Alcohol supervisor and overtime for Project Intercept, a program to apprehend probationers who violate alcohol conditions.
Rehabilitation: Suffolk's unique and successful DWI Alternative Facility continues to prove its effectiveness in treating the most serious repeat DWI offenders judged to be alcoholic. Sentenced to 3-5 months incarceration in the facility and to 3-5 years probation with alcohol conditions, the violators are less likely to repeat in the future. Our studies indicate a 11-12% recidivist rate as opposed to the 40-45% rate nationwide for this population. STOP-DWI funds three (3) Correction Treatment Officers at the facility built in 1986 with STOP-DWI funds.
Public Information and Education: All Public Information media and printed materials are prepared and placed on contract with a professional advertising agency, ensuring high quality, attractive and effective products. The STOP-DWI Coordinator also devotes time to public information and education projects through radio, television and newspaper interviews, school and civic organization meetings, and with Long Island M.A.D.D..
In addition, Eastern Suffolk B.O.C.E.S., under contract, is currently conducting various education programs in Suffolk's five east end towns: Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island, changing attitudes and raising knowledge levels about DWI for 9-12 grade students.
Administration: STOP-DWI administration includes the Coordinator and a Highway Safety Program Manager. In addition to overseeing all components of the program, the administrative staff collects data and is building a Suffolk County Traffic records data base to be used for program planning and evaluation. The administrative budget also includes funds for some equipment purchased as needed for police agencies.