BATH, N.Y. (WETM) — Steuben County Sheriff, Jim Allard, reported that from Aug. 13 to Aug. 15, deputies arrested three people for Driving While Intoxicated. Sheriff Allard said there is a reason for the uptick.

Allard said there has been over 70 DWI/DWIA (Driving While Ability Impaired) arrests so far this year.

“Obviously, we’ve seen an uptick in DWAI arrests since cannabis was legalized,” said Sheriff Allard. “That’s definitely a factor in that end.”

Allard said they have averaged around 150 DWI arrests a year for the past three to four years. The Sheriff’s Office has two deputies that work full-time on DWIs and narcotics interdiction.

“Driving while intoxicated or impaired crashes are still the number one case of criminal deaths in the county,” said Sheriff Allard.

Driving while intoxicated or impaired can result in serious fines, along with possible jail time. However, Sheriff Allard said there is a bigger consequence.

“Typically when we see these crashes, the intoxicated or impaired driver walks away while passengers are not so lucky,” said Sheriff Allard. “The biggest consequence is living with the fact that you have killed another human being due to your choices.”

His advice to the public?

“We always talk about what not to do, but [we also] talk about what to do,” said Sheriff Allard. “That is use rideshares, use apps, hand your keys to someone else if you’re going to drink. Be responsible about it and make a plan.”