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Drunken-driving arrests dip 10 percent over the summer

Drunken-driving arrests dipped 10.8 percent this summer in Erie County.

Officials attribute the decline to smarter choices by drivers, tougher penalties against offenders and possibly new ride-hailing options like Uber and Lyft.

The number of DWI arrests fell to 532 from July 3 to Sept. 17, compared with 597 during the same period last year, according to the Erie County STOP-DWI Office.

Much of the decline occurred since Aug. 20, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Monday.

“Vigilant work by law enforcement and our STOP-DWI office, and a greater understanding by the public of the severe consequences for DWI offenses, are at the forefront of keeping impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel,” Poloncarz said.

STOP-DWI Director John Sullivan said the decline might also be attributable to easy driving alternatives. Ride-hailing services came to the region in late July.

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