Use of DWI fund draws scrutiny

Schroon Lake Supervisor Cathy Moses inquired about using STOP DWI funds for community events, such as one that was held in her town recently. County Attorney Dan Manning stressed that such an event would have to be exclusively centered around preventing drunk driving.

Essex County District Attorney Julie Garcia said an advisory board would be useful in helping to determine appropriate uses for the funds, and that the event put on in Schroon Lake was an example that deserved more scrutiny.

"This is one of those things [the Traffic Safety Board sees] as being egregious spending," she said, claiming that the town filed a $10,000 voucher for the event, which featured fireworks and live entertainment. Moses said the amount was significantly lower.

Garcia added STOP DWI funds could not be used for events simply because they're promoted as being non-alcoholic.

"It just doesn't make sense," said Garcia, stressing events would need to have a clear anti-DWI message for attendees. "I think the educational component is the most important."

Committee members voted unanimously for the approval of the police vehicle expenses, which amounted to $10,000 for the Lake Placid Police Department and $20,000 for the Moriah Police Department.

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