DWI arrests continue to decrease in Wichita Falls

DWI arrests continue to decrease in Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - DWI arrests in Wichita Falls are on the decline.
Arrests have decreased each of the last three years.
In 2012, there were 225 DWI arrests and only 147 last year.
    "A bad decision, a DWI accident severely injuring someone or killing someone, that's a decision you can't take back and you don't get any second chances," Jeff Hughes, Officer for the Wichita Falls Police Department, said. "And I think people are starting to recognize that."
This is one of many variables Officer Hughes believes has played a role.
So far in 2016, the department has made 69 DWI arrests, putting them on pace to once again decrease the number.
Officer Hughes also credits a good D.A.R.E. program for less drunk drivers.
    "The D.A.R.E. program is really good about educating students on the dangers of drinking and driving and drugs," Officer Hughes said. "And I think that really sticks with them."
Unfortunately, it still exists.
According to the second quarter statistics in 2015, there were 24,048 impaired crashes in Texas, 114 in Wichita Falls, resulting in 894 deaths.
Officer Hughes said more work needs to be done.
    "When that number hits one, that's too many," Officer Hughes said. "So we would love for that number to be zero."
Officer Hughes knows what needs to be done.
    "How do we get that number to be zero? It's community education," Officer Hughes said. "It's people making the decision to not drink and drive. To decide not to get behind the wheel, call a friend and get a ride; to not put yourself, or anyone else, in that situation."
There is one thing Officer Hughes wants people to remember.
    "What people need to know is that impairment starts at any number above a zero," Officer Hughes said. "So .01 is some form of impairment."
Officer Hughes said it is positive to see the community taking their information to heart.
He also believes nightly bar checks helps keep drunk drivers to a minimum.
To access the second quarter statistics, click here.

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