Abilene police seeing fewer drunk drivers

POSTED: 7:29 PM Nov 02 2012
Drunk driving blurb
ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene police are progressively seeing fewer drunk drivers, though it is difficult to tell why.

"We're reaching out to the community and reminding them that drinking and driving is not just a police matter, it's a community situation," Officer George Spindler said.

From January to October 2010, police made 548 DWI arrests. For the same time period in 2011, they made 339 arrests and so far this year, they have made only 295 arrests.

"It's something that we hope is a change in the behavior that we're seeing in our community," Spindler said.

Earlier this year, the police department unveiled its newest slogan: Stay Alive, Don't Drink and Drive.

Spindler said the decrease in drunk drivers may be attributed to increased community awareness about the dangers of drunk driving as well as police enforcement.

Unfortunately, the Texas Department of Public Safety is not seeing the same trend in their Abilene district, which involves 19 counties..

"In 2010 we had 625 arrests. In that same area in 2011, we had 635 and, so far this year, it looks like we're keeping on track or we may be just a little ahead of that," Senior Trooper Sparky Dean said.

Dean said drivers need to start planning ahead and designate a driver, or call a taxi, to make a change.

"We're not saying don't have fun in whatever you do, but do so responsibly."

Drinking while driving in Texas can result in up to a $2,000 fine, jail time and a suspended driver license.