Holiday STOP-DWI Crackdown in Chemung County

Local News

Chemung County is taking part in the statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign this holiday season, from Dec. 13 through Jan 1. 18 News took part in a ride along to see what the crackdown is all about. 

“We look for violations such as lane violations, driving off the shoulder, drifting over to the middle lane, and speeding is also a good sign of impaired driving,” Deputy Sheriff of Chemung County, Michael Theetge, said. Theetge has been assigned to the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign. 

“I personally have 51 DWI’s so far this year,” Theetge said. He expects that number to rise before the new year. 

Theetge said the county has seen a huge increase in not only drunk driving, but drugged driving as well. 

 “Whether it is stress or anything else, people are using and abusing their medications,” Theetgee said. “They believe their fine to operate their vehicle because a doctor prescribed it to them. That has been the case in a few of our arrests.” 

According to Theetge, there also has been a high range of BAC percentage. The legal limit is .08. 

“I recently had one at a .31,” he said. “If you have been drinking, don’t take the chance. It’s not worth hurting yourself and others. It is easy to plan ahead and set yourself up with a ride to get you home safe.” 

According to the New York DMV, penalties for impaired driving include: 

DWAI/Alcohol

1st Offense

  • License suspension for 90 days.
  • A $300 – $500 fine.
  • A minimum $250 annual assessment fine, for a total of $750 in fines over 3 years. This is part of the state’s Driver Responsibillity Program 
  • Up to 15 days in jail.
  • Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and all the associated costs

DWI and DWAI/Drugs

1st Offense

  • DWI: License revocation for 6 months.
  • DWAI: License suspension for 6 months.
  • A $500 – $1,000 fine.
  • A minimum $250 annual assessment fine, for a total of $750 in fines over 3 years. This is part of the state’s Driver Responsibility Program 
  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and all the associated costs 

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