APD: Increase in DWI arrests and crashes in 2018

APD: Increase in DWI arrests and crashes in 2018
The Amarillo Police Department says despite additional efforts to curb drunk driving, the list of offenders is growing. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Department says despite additional efforts to curb drunk driving, the list of offenders is growing.

The Amarillo Police Department says it's seen a rise in the total number of DWI arrests from 2017 to 2018.

APD: Increase in DWI arrests and crashes in 2018

At the time of print, police say they’ve had 711 DWI arrests.

Last year, they had 555 total DWI arrests.

“That rise comes from more officers out working DUIs and us just trying to get more people off the streets from driving intoxicated,” said Cpl. Jeb Hilton with the Crime Prevention Unit.

With more officers on the look out, APD says that’s expected.

However, an increase in crashes is not.

So far this year, there’s been 267 DWI crashes.

Last year, there was 241 total.

“What’s alarming to us is that with more arrests, you’d like to see a drop in the number of crashes that we’re seeing, but we’ve actually had a rise, year to date, in the number of DWI crashes,” said Cpl. Hilton.

In the past week, the department made 11 DWI arrests.

Seven of those were involved in wrecks, and four of those seven have at least one other DWI conviction.

APD says this can not become a norm in the community.

“What we’re seeing is not people messing up once and getting out and making better decisions,” said Cpl. Hilton. “We’re having people that are repeat offenders, continually getting arrested for this offense.”

The department says they’re asking the community to think about their actions.

“In general, we’d like to see people taking their actions into their own hands and saying, ‘I don’t need to be drinking and driving,’” said Cpl. Hilton. “'I need to be calling for a ride, or planning ahead and getting a ride with a friend or a ride service beforehand.' That’s what we’d like to see, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what’s going on in Amarillo.”

The Amarillo Police Department will be increasing patrol during the holiday season and asks everyone to think of themselves, their families and others in the community before they get behind the wheel.

The Amarillo Police Department says it will continue to remind members of the community to arrange a ride before you drive.

The cost of a ride share service is about $15, a DWI can cost you $15,000.

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