Oswego County

Robert J. Lighthall

39 Churchill Road
Oswego, NY 13126
United States


Click here for information on our Victim Impact Panels.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                         March 2, 2018


Vehicles Used in Public Education to Simulate Driving While Impaired –


Groups Donate Pedal Karts to Oswego County STOP-DWI


OSWEGO COUNTY - The Oswego Elks Lodge 271 and the County of Oswego Council on Alcohol and Addictions (COCOAA) recently donated pedal karts to help the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program in its public education efforts.


The pedal karts will be used to teach community residents about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. When used with special “Fatal Vision” impairment goggles, the pedal karts allow participants to experience simulated effects and consequences of impairment. 


The goal of the Oswego Elks’ Drug Awareness Program is to educate youth about the effects that drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can have on them and the consequences of the misuse of these products.


“The Elks recognize that our community, like many others around the country, is in a constant battle to combat drug abuse and protect our youth from the pressures of those who would selfishly encourage them to begin using drugs,” said Carol Simpson, Drug Awareness Chair for the Oswego Elks Lodge. “We hope that this donation will assist our local STOP-DWI program in its efforts to provide our youth with drug awareness and prevention education.”


COCOAA has a long-term relationship working with STOP-DWI in preventative education. In addition to their collaborative effort in programs such as Project U-Turn and Project Intervention, the two organizations have worked together to present “Responsible Server” training for local establishments. This training was also supported through grant funding from the Richard Shineman Foundation.


“The program is intended to help youths make educated decisions when it comes to real life situations,” said Karyn Grow, Director of Prevention Services for COCOAA. “It’s great to have different organizations helping other organizations in the community. It really brings us all together.”


Oswego County STOP-DWI, Elks Lodge 271, and COCOAA are all members of the Oswego County Prevention Coalition. The coalition’s goals are to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance use. The coalition works to achieve its goals by increasing positive protective factors and decreasing risk factors as members address adolescent substance abuse in Oswego County.

STOP-DWI Coordinator Robert Lighthall expressed his appreciation of the donated pedal karts.


“Our mission is to develop and coordinate a comprehensive DWI counter-measure program to deter the incidence of drunk driving and the occurrence of alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities,” Lighthall said. “This is a community effort and we appreciate the support of these organizations as we continue to educate our youth and the public of the consequences of alcohol and drug impairment.”


For information about the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program, contact Lighthall at Robert.Lighthall@OswegoCounty.com or visit http://www.stopdwi.org/initiatives-Oswego.

Carol Simpson, Drug Awareness Program Chair, and Steve Gleason of COCOAA try out the new pedal karts that their groups donated to the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program. When used with special goggles, the karts give drivers the simulated effects of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Looking on are, from left, Ken Ellsworth, Exalted Ruler, Elks Oswego Lodge 271; Robert Lighthall, Oswego County STOP-DWI Coordinator; and Oswego Mayor William Barlow Jr.

The Oswego County STOP-DWI Program actively provides public information and education booths at public health fairs, corporate safety fairs, the Oswego County Fair, and other community events throughout the county. Our activities include use of Fatal Vision impairment goggles with activity mats and pedal karts on serpentine cone courses. Local S.A.D.D. Chapters, C.O.C.O.A.A., Farnham, Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, and other traffic safety partners assist to provide sufficient manpower for these activities. Program staff members and Victim Impact Panelists also travel to local high schools for classroom presentations to driver education and health classes.

Since the spring of 2006, STOP-DWI and a coalition of area public safety agencies have presented “MOCK DWI” crash scenarios at local high schools. This presentation as developed not only contains the “Crash” but includes rescue, police investigation, death notification, defendant arraignment and lastly the funeral itself.  School districts generally present the Mock Crashes biennially to students in their junior and senior years just before the prom.

The Oswego County STOP-DWI Program has expanded our presence on social media with accounts on Facebook – Oswego County STOP DWI Program, Instagram - Oswegostopdwi, Twitter - @OswegoStopDwi, and a Youtube channel – Oswego County STOP DWI.


Victim Impact Panels:

Through the combined efforts of Oswego County STOP-DWI, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Probation Department, the Victim Impact Panel is presented on a monthly basis. Panels are scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month at the Public Safety Center, 39 Churchill Road, Oswego. Check-in starts at 5:30 pm. Sessions begin at 6:00 and generally last just under 2 hours. A breath test will be administered on all attendees. Anyone with a positive indication will be denied entry.

LOCATION:   Public Safety Center, 39 Churchill Road, Oswego, NY 13126.

Dates in 2018: January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 24*, November 21, and December 19. The October panel will be held on the 4th Wednesday due to scheduling conflicts.

TIME: Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. A breath test will be administered upon entry. No smoking, drinking, or eating 15 minutes prior to check-in due to breath test.

Pre-registration is NOT required.  If you require a Certificate of Attendance for court or other entity, the cost is $35 payable by cash or money order upon entry. Make money order payable to ‘County of Oswego'.

For questions or further information regarding the program, please contact either Sr. Probation Officer Karen Smith (315)326-6231, Karen.Smith@oswegocounty.com or STOP-DWI Coordinator Robert Lighthall (315) 349-3210, Robert.Lighthall@oswegocounty.com.