AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - This time last year at this time there were 193 DWI arrests in Amarillo. Currently there are over 300.
"The fact that we have more DWI arrests is not an indication that we have more drunk drivers out on the street," said Amarillo Police Chief Ed Drain. "In fact, I think we have fewer drunk drivers out on the street."
Chief Drain says the increase is indicative of the new initiative APD put out last year on using magistrates as a part of the arrest process.
"One of the things helping us to get more DWI arrests is we did go to a no-refusal policy," said Chief Drain. "We now have magistrates, working nighttime and weekends who are helping us get those warrants back to the officers and processed for the blood."
Chief Drain talked to his officers about being more aware of those who could be intoxicated and putting themselves and others at risk. He also spoke to local bar owners.
"They have to be cautious when they have patrons and they are over serving them," said Chief Drain. "Those people are gonna leave, and sometimes cause disturbances. So we're trying to work with our bars and let them know that."
Last week, there were 12 DWI arrests alone.