The Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated (D.W.I.) was established by New York State government on July 31, 1981. This law became effective on November 28, 1981 and provided for the return of fine monies for drinking and driving violations to the counties in which they occurred, provided that those counties established a "STOP-DWI" program. The purpose of the STOP-DWI program is to "provide a plan for coordination of county, town, city, and village efforts to reduce alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities."
The Madison County STOP-DWI Program was established in December 1981. A plan is prepared yearly and approved by the County Board of Supervisors and the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
Research has indicated that the most effective method of combating drinking and driving is to use the general deterrence model. This model gives priority to arresting those who drive while under the influence of alcohol and drugs; swift adjudication of individual cases; certain and severe punishment for those convicted; and publicity for the arrest and prosecution efforts. Additionally, alcohol treatment for those arrested, probation supervision for persistent offenders, and public information and education efforts serve to reduce future D.W.I. violations.