Erie County DWI arrests drop significantly over decade

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — When compared to the first half of the decade, DWI arrests in Erie County have drastically dropped.

Citing data from STOP-DWI and New York State police, county officials noted that in 2011, there were 3,445 DWI arrests in the county.

The prediction for 2019 is about 1,000 less, at 2,408. As of November 19, 2,175 people have been charged with impaired driving, which is close to the same number at this time last year (2,171).

“With the extended weekend coming up, it is important that people drive responsibly on our roadways,” Erie County Executive Mark 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.”

From 2011 to 2014, the number of DWIs steadily dropped, reaching 3050 in the last of those years.

The following year, 2,615 were reported. For the next couple years, that number slightly increased, but dropped by roughly a couple hundred in 2018.

County officials, including Poloncarz, shared graphs of the DWI statistics, including how much it costs someone, on average.

According to a SUNY Potsdam study, drivers usually end up paying around $10,000 after being charged with DWI. That includes the fine, legal fees, insurance and other factors.

“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,” Town of Hamburg Police Chief Greg Wickett said.

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