The latest statistics indicate that the number of driving while intoxicated (DWI) felonies in Long Island’s Suffolk County is double that of neighboring Nassau County. The recent data is a continuation of a two-decade trend, in which Suffolk County has led Nassau County in DWIs. Until roughly 1970, Nassau County had more DWIs.
It’s important to note, though, that DWI convictions have been rising steadily in both counties for nearly 50 years.
The Reasons for DWIs
There are a number of reasons that DWI rates in both counties are rising and that Suffolk outpaces Nassau County. Both counties have seen a population expansion since 1970, when the data began to be tracked. Some of the increase is due simply to more people driving.
Laws against drinking and driving have become much stricter in the period as well. Specific programs aimed at eliminated drinking and driving have been in place since the 1980s. Leandra’s Law, passed 9 years ago, made operating a vehicle while under the influence while having a passenger 15 years of age or younger an automatic felony in New York state.
But perhaps the most significant explanation is the relative lack of public transportation options. New York City residents, for example, have multiple ways to catch a ride – train, bus, subway, and taxis/car service. Nassau and Suffolk are suburban, and parts of both of them are rural – with Suffolk in the lead here as well – with few options other than driving.
Why Do Drunk Drivers Get Behind the Wheel?
A national survey conducted in 2016 found that the top 3 reasons drivers got in their vehicles after drinking were the following.
- 43.7% believed they were okay to drive.
- 12.6% said they weren’t very far away.
- 10.9% believed they could drive carefully.
Call a Long Island DWI Crash Lawyer at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye
Drivers who believe they are okay to drive or can drive a short distance while intoxicated are all too frequent on Long Island roads. Sadly, they can be killed while thinking this – and they can kill or injure other people.
The holiday season, with its frequent parties and celebrations, can be an especially common time for DWIs to occur. Never drink and drive. Go with a designated driver who doesn’t drink, or call a taxi.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a DWI in the 5 boroughs of NYC or on Long Island, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help. We are veteran attorneys experienced in cases involving drunk driving.
Your initial consultation with us is free and comes with no obligation. We charge no fees unless we win your case. Call today to speak with a seasoned New York City and Long Island DWI accident lawyer today.
- State of New York. Adult Arrests by County: Beginning 1970. https://data.ny.gov/Public-Safety/Adult-Arrests-by-County-Beginning-1970/rikd-mt35.
- Suffolk leads Nassau in DWI felonies. Long Island Report. April 25, 2017. https://longislandreport.org/news/suffolk-leads-nassau-in-dwi-felonies/24435