The Albany County Stop-DWI program held its third DWI-sweep of the year from 5 p.m. on Friday, March 12 to 5 a.m. Sunday, March 14. A total of 1,224 vehicles were stopped and 20 people were arrested for DWI.
Six additional arrests were for the felony level offense of aggravated-DWI, with the person testing at a BAC of at least 0.18. Another arrest was for DWAI, with the person arrested having been under the influence of drugs. The average BAC of the DWI arrests was 0.135.
In addition to the arrests, police issued 473 summonses, counted a total of 144 designated drivers, and arrested 17 people for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.
I don't expect it, but it never surprises me, said Staff Sgt. Leonard Crouch. "I continue to feel some of our efforts fall on deaf ears."
Crouch specifically mentioned one instance in which an intoxicated man entered traffic on I-787 heading in the wrong direction.
According to information from New York State Police, at 4:30 p.m. on March 3, Brian P. Perry, 21, of Loudonville, was stopped by police after traveling northbound on the south bound lanes on I-787. According to police, Perry was tested at a BAC of .23. He represents the highest BAC recorded in the sweep, and was charged with aggravated DWI, and issued a number of traffic tickets.
Crouch did point out one positive result of the sweep, compared to last year's, was that the average BAC was down from over 0.14 last year, to 0.1346 this year. "That's actually going in the right direction," he said.
The sweep also yielded 100 more designated drivers than the 44 designated drivers in the sweep that took place in February, a result Crouch attributed to the nature of the St. Patrick's Day event.
Although the average BAC is down, Crouch said the STOP-DWI program is still not where it would like to be in deterring drunk driving. "It is what it is, is unfortunate it still isn't getting better," he said.