How has drunk driving in New York changed over recent years?

Drivers in New York should feel safer to know that DWI charges have decreased in recent years, but should still be aware of the dangers.

Driving in New York City has its share of dangers, including pot holes, falling tools from skyscraper work-sites and road rage. However, one of the most dangerous things people can do still happens all too often, and that is driving under the influence. Fortunately, the rate at which people are getting caught operating vehicles in this dangerous state has decreased over the last few years. Hopefully this trend continues as drug and alcohol education becomes a more common part of driver education courses, and receives more attention in the news to increase people's awareness. Understanding the statistics can help drivers be better prepared to act in a manner that is safest for both themselves and other drivers and pedestrians in the high-traffic streets of New York.

Some introductory statistics

While approximately 1.4 percent of New York drivers report driving after drinking too much within a 30-day period of being interviewed, the number could be higher than indicated, as many people will not be honest when answering those types of surveys. Still, the national average is 1.9 percent, which seems to indicate that people are less likely to drink and drive in New York. The fact remains that one in three U.S. traffic deaths involved someone who was driving drunk. When one considers that there are millions of people still driving drunk every year, it becomes apparent that there is still a long way to go before safety conditions can be ideal. It is important for people in the New York to understand that statewide, anyone who drives a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or greater than 0.08 percent is considered to be impaired by alcohol.

What DWI arrest statistics show about drunk drivers in New York

In 2014, there were 122 people who were arrested for felony DWIs, and 2,011 arrested on misdemeanor DWI charges. These numbers dramatically changed in 2015, when 1,534 people were arrested for misdemeanor DWI violations and 103 were charged with felonies for DWI. While there were slightly more felony DWI arrests in 2016 with 112 people being arrested, the number continued to decrease for misdemeanors, as 1,423 people were arrested for misdemeanor DWIs. 2017 saw the fewest DWI arrests in a long time, with 101 of them being felonies and 1,355 of them being misdemeanors.

Anyone who has been charged with a DWI, or who may have been affected by a DWI charge, may need competent legal representation. Those seeking representation may find it helpful to contact an attorney in the local area who practices criminal law.