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How prevalent is drunk driving in Central New York?

Drunk driving happens all across the nation, but some areas have higher rates than others. As a whole, New York is doing well compared to the rest of the country. A 2017 report from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee reveals that the state ranks low in fatalities from driving while intoxicated.

However, upon closer look, the rates for Central New York are high. 

The county with the most DWI fatalities and injuries

The worst county in the entire state is Lewis, in the northeast part of the state, reveals New York's Department of Health. It has a rate more than double the state average: 72.5 per 100,000 people compared to 30.4. The best county is New York, at 15.1.

The worst region

By region, the numbers are as follows, with Central New York coming in fourth:

  1. North Country: 49.5
  2. Mohawk Valley: 47.6
  3. Capital Region: 43.8
  4. Central NY: 42.8
  5. Finger Lakes: 41.7
  6. Western NY: 41.3
  7. Tug Hill Seaway: 40.3
  8. Long Island: 39.7
  9. Southern Tier: 37.3
  10. Mid-Hudson: 33.7
  11. New York City: 17.7

According to the data, drunk driving is much more common in rural areas than in urban. This fact may result from a combination of higher speeds, more wildlife, less lighting and poor road conditions in rural areas, as well as more rural than city roads in the state.

Rates for Central New York

For just Central New York, the worst county is Cortland, with a rate of 56. Onondaga, where Syracuse lies, falls in the middle, with a rate of 42.1. While not as high as other places, it still is above the state average.

How do these statistics affect drivers?

What these numbers mean for drivers is that getting a DWI is a real risk. The state has many plans in place to reduce the occurrence of alcohol-related crashes, such as DWI checkpoints, which leads to an increase in arrests and convictions. For those who face drunk driving charges, it is important to have a strong defense to avoid the long-term consequences of a DWI on their criminal record.

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