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Ithaca Police Reports Surge in DWI Arrests, Accidents in ’23


With the holiday season here, the Ithaca Police Department is reminding everyone of the importance of driving safely and avoiding drunk or impaired driving. With an increase in festivities, gatherings, and parties, it is imperative everyone takes extra precautions to ensure that our roads remain safe for everyone. There has been an increase in impaired driving-related accidents, nationally and locally.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 14% increase in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths from 2020 to 2021. In New York State, slightly more than 30% of all fatal crashes are alcohol-related. These tragedies can be avoided by making responsible choices.

The city of Ithaca has also seen a rise in DWI-related accidents. In the second half of 2023, there was a 233% increase in accidents in which the driver was arrested for being impaired. The Ithaca Police Department saw a 91% increase overall in DWI arrests in the second half of 2023. 43% of the Ithaca Police Department’s DWI arrests in 2023 were accident-related.

Impaired driving is a serious offense that not only endangers the life of the driver but also puts the lives of passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers at risk. IPD is urging everyone to plan ahead when attending holiday gatherings and to always have a designated driver, use ride-sharing services, public transportation, or call a taxi.

It is important to remember that alcohol affects everyone differently, even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time. IPD says “Be responsible, make smart choices, and have a safe and happy holiday season.”

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