LocalSYR

DWI rates dropping as laws get tougher

Statistics show DWI arrests in Central New York are down almost 10 percent. Some say new, tougher laws are helping to curb the crime. New York has some of the toughest DWI laws in the country and police will be out in full force, cracking down this Memorial Day weekend.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Statistics show DWI arrests in Central New York are down almost 10 percent. Some say new, tougher laws are helping to curb the crime.

If you're convicted of a DWI, you'll pay at least $5,000 in penalties and legal fees. You can also end up with prison time and other sanctions.

New York has some of the toughest DWI laws in the country and police will be out in full force, cracking down this Memorial Day weekend.

Criminal defense attorney Don Kelly says that's driving DWI rates down. According to the Tully Rinckey law firm analysis of statistics, in 2012 Oswego County saw a 30 percent drop in DWI  arrests compared to the year before.

“The laws are really having an impact upon drivers in New York State, it's really much safer to drive now than even 10 or 20 years ago,” Kelly said.

DWI crashes are 10 times more likely to cause a fatality than accidents that do not involve alcohol.

In recent years, new DWI laws have made it even more difficult to get your license back after a conviction. In some cases you permanently lose your right to drive.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says this past year more than 3,000 dangerous drivers were denied their licenses.

Every year more than 300 people are killed and 6,000 are injured on New York’s highways in alcohol-related crashes.

The National Transportation Safety Board is working to make laws even tougher across the country and lower the BAC threshold from .08 to .05.

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