Amarillo police are increasing patrols to keep drivers under the influence off the road. Officers patrol areas known for DUI's such as Amarillo Boulevard and south west parts of town.
Sergeant Steve Davis says they are making more arrests. "We've seen an increase of DWI Arrests. Now, whether there's an increase of driving . We have a lot of officers out their targeting the drunk drivers, Davis said.
According to a nation wide report by the Substance Abuse and mental Health Services (SAMHSA), one in twenty adult drivers have admitted to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A statistic, not surprising to local law enforcement. Davis says, "That doesn't shock me at all. I would think at least that many are our right now. Even at night probably more".
For 2008, three people have died due to drunk drivers. Amarillo police say they have made over a hundred DUI arrests this years. They are making sure grant money from the Texas Department of Transportation is being put to good use with increased patrols causing more arrests.
Randall County Sheriff's department says they are seeing DUI numbers decreased due to their undercover officers. Captain Roger Short says you never know if there's an officer around. "You pull up to a light look at a vehicle. It could be Joe citizen or one of my officers watching to see what's going on". He says not knowing is deterring people from driving under the influence.
Captain Short says even if you don't see officers patrolling they have another helpful tool to prevent DUI's... The community. "People have to take the initiative to stop some of this. Not just up to law enforcement. It takes everybody the whole community", he said.