As marijuana arrests have fallen by 20% in 2013, the NYPD has increased the number of arrests for DWI by the same percentage compared with this time last year. The Post reports that the precinct with the biggest increase is Greenwich Village's 6th, where 170 drivers have been arrested as of May 5, compared to the 81 that were picked up by this time in 2012.
The Post's story quotes several bouncers at bars who say they have a "good relationship" with the NYPD, and often help cops identify drunk drivers. “If we see someone stumbling out of the bar and getting into a car, we take a picture of the license and call or text it [to the police],” a bouncer at Actors Playhouse said.
Luis Candellario, who works at Henrietta Hudson, said his wife and daughter were killed by a drunken driver in Puerto Rico 15 years ago. “They come out of all the wine bars and hop right in their cars,” he said. “It’s a shame. I don’t get these people," Candellario said. "They should just take cabs, but some people don’t change.”
A bill that would establish a felony penalty for drivers who are convicted of three or more DWIs in a 25-year period passed the State Senate last week and will be voted on by the Assembly. Currently, the felony only exists for drivers who are convicted of three or more DWIs in a 10-year period.
In 2011, a year in which the number of DWI arrests declined in New York City, 315 people were killed by drunk driving in the state. From 2006 to 2011, 1,723 people were killed in drunk driving incidents in New York. The state has the 10th lowest percentage of DWI-related deaths in the country.
In 2012, 155 cyclists and pedestrians were killed by motorists on New York City's streets.