Before we know it, we will be going from holiday party to holiday party. The fun of seeing friends and family and enjoying some holiday cheer is just about here. However, police agencies will remind you to have a plan for a safe ride home.

These days, there are more options than ever for those who don't want to drink and drive. From ride sharing to texting a friend for a ride, if you are planning on having some drinks, you can easily have a way to get home. But the sad and dangerous reality is that some will choose to drive drunk and if you get caught, there are stiff penalties waiting for you here in New York State.

Beside the dangers and embarrassment of a DUI, DWI or DWAI, there are fines and fees. Where those fees end up is going to be moving to help prevent further drug or alcohol related incidents.

According to reports, new legislation has been signed that's aimed at supporting STOP-DWI programs across the Empire State. The measure requires surcharges that are assessed to drivers who are caught being impaired behind the wheel to be used towards funding local drunk driving prevention programs.

The mission of Stop DWI here in New York State is:

Reduce the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes
To promote DWI prevention as a public priority
Coordinate local efforts in Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Probation, Rehabilitation, Public Information, Education, and Administration.

The current fines and surcharges add up quickly.

A fine of between $500 and $1000 (plus surcharge of $395 – $400), up to 1 year in jail, or both;
2 or 3 years' probation;
Mandatory revocation of driver's license for at least 6 months;
DRA of $250 a year for 3 years.

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