NYE patrol numbers improved over last year

Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas
Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas

New Year's Eve is often a night for partying...which means it is also a night to crack down on DUI enforcement.

New Year's Eve is often one of the worst nights of the year for impaired driving, so local law enforcement was out in full force.

And whether you brought in the new year watching the ball drop...or popping bottles with friends, many turn to alcohol to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

But here in Amarillo, DUI numbers are actually down compared to last year.

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department said, "we only had two DUI arrests between New Years Eve and New Year's day. Last year we had about 7 during that 48 hour period."

Potter county on the other hand issued zero DUI arrests...in fact, they were so quiet last night they lent a hand to APD officers who saw an increase in public intoxication numbers.

Sheriff Brian Thomas says their lower numbers this year may have been due to weather, or an increased awareness that they would be out patrolling.

"I think a lot of people are taking responsibility and deciding maybe that's not the way to go, have a designated driver or not drink as much."

"There is really no way to pinpoint why they are down, but we're happy that they are down. We didn't see as many DUI drivers, so it meant that it was safer for everyone else," Neufeld said."

Both DUI arrests and a majority of the public intoxications occurred after the stroke of midnight.