Early police see increase in DWI cases

Early seeing DWI increase

EARLY, Texas - Early police said the recent DWI arrests are not just alcohol-related.

According to Early Chief of Police David Mercer, the number of drivers under the influence of drugs has also increased. That includes both illegal drugs and prescription medications.

Although prescription medications may not be illegal, Mercer said drivers can still get in trouble if those drugs make them impaired.

"If it affects them, they don't need to drive," Mercer said. "They need to get somebody to drive them or just stay home and rest."

Two men were separately arrested in Early on Saturday morning for reckless driving, one of whom was reportedly under the influence of medication.

"When I was on patrol, we never saw DWIs during the day. It was always right before dark or during the night, and it was all alcohol," he said.

Mercer said he doesn't know why he's seeing more and more traffic violations involving alcohol and drugs, but the best advice is to take action when you see it.

"I strongly encourage people to report reckless driving," he said. "If they see someone who's not driving right, call 911. Get it reported and let us get an officer there to check it."

According to law enforcement records, more than 40 driving-under-the-influence incidents were reported in 2013. According to Mercer, that number has increased by about 20 percent.

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