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New York State STOP-DWI Program, Local Law Enforcement to Present Senator Tim Kennedy with Award in Recognition of Efforts to Make NY’s Roads Safer

Kennedy, Who Has Served as Chair of the Senate’s Transportation Committee Since 2019, Has Worked Closely With STOP-DWI Leadership and Law Enforcement to Enact Dedicated Streams of Funding for Programming Across NYS

Senator Tim Kennedy Award Recognition
Individuals who attended: Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti; Chief Deputy Robert Richards, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office; Senator Tim Kennedy; Captain Thomas Huff, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office/Niagara County STOP-DWI Coordinator; Lindsay Tomidy, STOP-DWI NY Association Chairwoman/Monroe County STOP-DWI Coordinator; Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restino; Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte; Niagara Falls Police Superintendent Nicholas Ligammari

Law enforcement from across Western New York will join New York State STOP-DWI programming coordinators Saturday to present Senator Tim Kennedy with an award in recognition of his work as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. Kennedy sponsored a bill that requires fees and surcharges associated with impaired driving offenses be redirected to county STOP-DWI programs across New York. This policy was designed to shore up the fiscal integrity of the programs, providing an important funding stream to address the myriad issues related to increased incidences of drugged driving. Over the last decade, this important program has seen a loss of revenue to the tune of 21% across the state. Kennedy’s bill passed both the Senate and Assembly in June 2023 and was signed into law by the Governor in October. It goes into effect April 1st, 2024.

This dedicated revenue is needed for enforcement efforts such as checkpoints, increased patrols during State crackdown periods, and overtime for local police agencies. Funds also support rehabilitation programs, public awareness campaigns, prosecution, and probation. Previous funding formulas left these local programs underfunded and at risk of shutting down.

The New York State STOP-DWI Association, Inc. is honored to recognize Senator Kennedy for his steadfast support of New York’s landmark STOP-DWI Program. Established by the Legislature in 1981, the STOP-DWI Program was the nation’s first, self-funding program directed at reducing the incidence of impaired driving by focusing on discrete, county-based strategies. After its first ten years of existence, the likelihood of being killed by an impaired driver in New York was reduced by nearly 70%. Today, we see that progress being challenged – particularly by a significant increase in impaired driving due to drugs used in combination or with alcohol.

The STOP-DWI Program has been dedicated to the principle of no more victims for more than 40 years, and that has seldom been as pertinent as it is now. The New York traffic safety community as a whole remains resolute in its pursuit of the overarching aim of zero fatalities, persistently endeavoring to realize this objective. We have seen a confluence of external factors threaten the long-term fiscal viability of the local option. Senator Kennedy and his Assembly colleague, Donna Lupardo (Broome County) initiated and advanced a comprehensive legislative strategy to secure the funding necessary to provide the county programs with a measure of fiscal stability for the foreseeable future. This Saturday, we bestow our highest recognition for the Senator’s leadership and partnership in the ongoing war against impaired driving.

View a gallery of images below from the award recognition event.