Madison County STOP-DWI sign may not express the correct message

Throughout New York State, including Madison County, the Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated (STOP DWI) aims to reduce DWI incidents. A recent story in the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported that STOP DWI officials in Madison County erected signs in the county to increase the public’s awareness about Leandra’s Law. Since its enactment in 2009 by the New York State legislators, Leandra’s Law makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child in the vehicle.

The problem with the “anti”-DWI sign is that the message itself is not clear. The sign reads:

“Driving Drunk?? Please!!!! Don’t take your kids with you. Be sure a sober driver takes them home!”

It can be argued that while the sign stresses not to put a child in the vehicle operated by a drunk driver – it does not definitively convey the message that one should not drive while intoxicated. The chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors, John Becker, agrees that the message could be misunderstood.

However, Madison County STOP-DWI coordinator, Stephen Goodfriend, argues that the sign’s message does not excuse drinking and driving at all – whether or not a child is in the car.

STOP-DWI in Madison County

In 1981, the state of New York established the Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated, more commonly referred to as STOP-DWI. Overall, the goal of the program is to decrease the state’s DWI incidents. The program has its broad guidelines but ultimately it empowers local governments – such as Madison County – to set up its own programs, panels, educational awareness plans, signs, etc. to deter residents from driving drunk. As long as the county has an established STOP DWI program, fines collected from DWI violations go back to the county where the violation arose.

Leandra’s Law

In October 2009, Leandra Rosado, was 11 years old when she was killed in the vehicle she was riding in, which was operated by a drunk driver on Manhattan’s Henry Hudson Highway. In December 2009, New York enacted the Child Passenger Protection Act – more commonly referred to as Leandra’s Law in honor of Leandra Rosado – which now imposes stricter penalties for those that operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and place a child in the vehicle as a passenger.

DWI Legal Assistance

If you received a DWI in Syracuse, New York or anywhere else in the state of New York – it is imperative that you receive clear-cut answers and advice regarding the serious charge. The legal team at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys can do just that. We are DWI defense attorneys and DWI defense is our sole legal focus.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.