While it is certainly not a competition, Suffolk County has seen a smaller decrease in the number of driving while intoxicated arrests than Nassau County. Though there have been 410 fewer arrests between 2011 and 2013 in Suffolk County, there were approximately 1,000 fewer arrests in Nassau County over the same period. Perhaps that is because the Suffolk County Police Department refuses to get rid of its specialized drunk driving enforcement team.
It also doesn’t look like it is planning on eliminating its enforcement team anytime soon. Though Nassau County did away with their own DWI enforcement team and now rely on smarter police patrols and sobriety checkpoints, the Suffolk County police deputy inspector touts the efficacy of a specialized unit. He says that a team is more adept at arresting drunk drivers than regular police patrols.
What these figures fail to capture, however, is the number of actual convictions for drunk driving each county has seen. Drivers can be arrested and even charged with drunk driving, but that is no indication of whether they are actually guilty of DWI. If the rates of conviction are relatively similar, it could just mean that Suffolk County’s specialized team is arresting more innocent people than Nassau County.
When someone is arrested for drunk driving, it is advisable to work with a criminal defense attorney. Even though it may seem like a conviction is inevitable, DWI attorneys can both help defend against wrongful or inappropriate charges and ensure a defendant’s rights are protected. Just because someone is arrested does not mean that they will automatically be convicted.
Source: Newsday, “DWI arrests dropping on Long Island,” Kevin Deutsch, May 21, 2014