More people are getting caught drinking and driving in Amarillo.
While hundreds have been arrested for DUI's in Amarillo in recent years, Impact Futures is paying officers and deputies to work over-time and put more behind bars.
Impact Futures Project Director LaVisa Matthews says, "We're doing this with Potter County, and we're about to start it with Randall County. We'd like to start that with Amarillo Police Department also. But for example, if the Potter County guys had not been out last weekend, then four more people would have been driving, and possibly causing injuries, or even deaths like we saw this weekend."
Potter County is able to have four additional deputies for 10 hours on certain weekends just targeting drunk drivers. This is thanks to a DUI enforcement grant through local coalition Impact Futures.
On their first weekend doing this, four arrests were made. Potter County Sergeant Charles Jones says, "We're able to get them out there to do nothing but find DWI's. We've had a bunch of recent accidents involving drunk drivers, and we all need to do our part in the community trying to get them off the street. And make it a safer community."
Impact Futures is now trying to collect drinking and driving pics from local law enforcement to raise awareness. Matthews says, "We would like to put together an impaired driving video. Kind of create that from scratch. There was one done in 1984 called 'Ride of Your Life'. We want to do another one. Maybe not so graphic, but it needs to be relative to kids. And it needs to be impactful."
Potter County finds the extra help very beneficial. Jones says, "We're trying to help out. APD they don't have as many officers as they need. And of course, us in the county, we don't have enough officers. And it really helps out."
Potter County says they're planning on applying for grants for more deputies to work weekends due to the many recent accidents. They say it allows them to respond to other calls as DUI arrests take about two hours to process.
Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.