News Release

 

For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021, countyexec@co.dutchess.ny.us

Betsy Brockway, Director, Youth Bureau, (845) 486-3660

May 22, 2001

Steinhaus Announces New Youth Initiative for STOP-DWI

Poughkeepsie… County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced a new initiative for the Dutchess County STOP-DWI program targeting underage drinking and driving in the County. According to Steinhaus, "Recent state statistics show that County drivers in the 16-20 year age group are at increased risk for involvement in alcohol-related personal and fatal vehicle injuries. While constituting only 6 percent of the 1999 licensed drivers in the County, this age group was involved in 17 percent of the alcohol-related crashes."

The STOP-DWI Planning Board is requesting new proposals for a multi-year effort to reduce the number of young drivers in alcohol-related crashes in Dutchess County through 2005. Up to $75,000 will be available for program year 2002, with an additional $10,000 available for a public information campaign.

A recent student survey conducted by the Choices for Change in southern Dutchess County identified several risk factors for youth-age alcohol and drug use that could contribute to the problem of underage drinking drivers: favorable parental attitudes and involvement in their behavior; low community attachment; low commitment to school; and friends who engage in the same problem behavior. Approved projects would incorporate promising strategies endorsed by the Center of Substance Abuse or Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention and target reducing favorable parental attitudes towards alcohol and/or increasing community support of non-alcohol use by young drivers. The overall goal is to reduce the number of youth involved in alcohol-related vehicle crashes.

The STOP-DWI Board currently funds several programs addressing the issue. Dutchess County Council on Alcoholism & Chemical Dependency, Inc. receives funding for an Alcohol/Highway Safety Educator to do school presentations and assist S.A.D.D. chapters. The organization sponsors the College Consortium with the local colleges to reduce students’ alcohol and substance abuse, and the STOP-DWI Program subsidizes ten drug-free after-prom parties for nine high schools.

Eligible agencies for the funding are municipalities, nonprofit organizations and health care facilities. The project must include an active advisory committee with representatives from law enforcement, schools, community-based organizations and community members, including youth. If available, funding will continue for two additional years. The fines collected from convicted DWI offenders fund this new initiative and all current STOP-DWI Program services.

Interested agencies should send a letter of intent with a brief description of their funding concept to the STOP-DWI Office by June 6, 2001. If the Board’s Budget Review Subcommittee endorses the concept, a complete Dutchess County Common Grant Application will be due on July 30. For further application information, call Betsy Brockway, Coordinator, at 845-486-3648.

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2001 Press Releases