Updated: 12/20/2013 7:35 PM
Created: 12/20/2013 6:19 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
The message is spread year after year. But still, drinking and driving remains a sad reality. Officials are calling the issue frustrating and heartbreaking. They say the number of DWI arrests and fatalities are expected to exceed last year in Monroe County.
Officials say this time of year is always risky because of the holidays. Within the last month, there have been three alcohol related deaths including one Thursday night. A woman was killed in Henrietta Thursday night after a driver police say was intoxicated caused a four car collision.
It's incidents like these that are happening way too often in our area especially in Monroe County.
Peggy Duffy, Monroe County STOP DWI coordinator said, “It is kind of disheartening because you would hope with all the information we have and all the education people have that they would chose to drive sober, but that's not our reality.”
In 2012, there were 400 DWI arrests in Wayne County, around 230 arrests in Ontario and around 2,600 in Monroe County.
This year, Monroe County officials say they expect to be at around three thousand arrests. That's about 400 more than last year.
When it comes to fatalities in 2012, even though there were zero fatalities in Wayne County, Ontario County had 24 and Monroe County had 12. Officials say the numbers for 2013 are expected to exceed last year's numbers again in Monroe County, especially when you include the number of recent fatalities.
The other aspect of this is not only can it destroy other people's lives, but it can also destroy yours. News10NBC spoke to a local attorney who says a DWI charge can cost you thousands of dollars, not mention your license will be revoked, your insurance rate goes up and you can even face jail time. The impact of a DWI charge doesn't end at the site of an arrest or crash.
Adrian J. Burke, attorney, said, “I think that a lot of people are shocked by the cost. The financial cost involved with a conviction for a DWI. Certainly though, just because you are charged with DWI doesn't mean you're guilty of DWI and that's why you need to get a good lawyer who can examine the evidence and help you out.”
Reminders: Always have a plan. Have extra money for a cab if you're going out or havea designated driver in your group.