Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani
MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, April 4, 1999



Making Our Streets Safer from Drunk Driving
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

This week, Police Commissioner Howard Safir and I were pleased to announce that since the implementation of the Police Department's new Driving While Intoxicated policy, New York City has experienced a 38.5 percent drop in DWI accidents, and at the same time the Police Department has had to make 116 fewer arrests compared to the same time last year.

The Police Department's new policy is to confiscate the vehicles of those arrested for drunk driving using civil forfeiture laws. The purpose is simple: to save lives.

And the early indication is that our streets are becoming significantly safer. We've confiscated 164 vehicles since February 22, when we began instituting the new policy, and DWI accidents have dropped from 179 to 110.

We're stopping chronic drunk drivers and we're stopping first offenders - who statistically cause actually the vast majority of drunk-driving fatalities nationwide, over 80 percent. In fact, of the 110 people arrested for DWI as the result of an accident from February 22 through March 25, 94 percent were first time offenders.

Drunk driving kills people, and I want to reiterate that if you are out drinking and there's any possibility that you've had too much to drink, get a ride home, take public transportation, or hail a cab. Don't put your car, and most importantly, your life and the lives of others, at risk.

Finally, I want to wish to all New Yorkers a happy and a healthy beginning of Spring. This is a wonderful time - trees are starting to turn green again, parade season is just beginning, and baseball season is just about to start. This week in particular is a very holy week for people across the City, as many of us culminate the Catholic Lenten season by celebrating Easter today. Many of us observe Passover this week. And still others observe the Muslim feast of Id al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice, remembering God's test of Abraham, a story, a lesson common to all three religions - Jewish, Christian and Muslim.

All these holidays are times of reverence and renewal. They express a deep desire to reach back to connect to our history and heritage, to honor the holy and human sacrifices that continue to inspire and ennoble so many lives today. And they remind us to worship our God.

As Mayor, I can say that the most moving thing about these holidays is the way they remind us that the most impressive thing about New York City is not the height of the buildings that make up our skyline, but the bonds that unite us as families and bring us all together regardless of race, religion or ethnic background as children of the same God.

I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy Easter, Passover, and Id, and to everyone, enjoy this weekend with your family and have it renew you for enjoying the Spring and enjoying New York City, the greatest City in the world. From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.



 

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