Project Roadblock: Driving while impaired numbers on the rise

Local News

With the holiday season typically comes a rise in driving while impaired arrest.

The numbers for 2018 aren’t out yet but the Wichita Falls Police Department saw a DUI increase from 2016 to 2017.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention month and this holiday season folks at the Wichita Falls PD officers want to make sure drivers take proper precautions during this time.

“If you are out and about and you are ever questioning that you need a designated driver probably need one,” Public Information Officers Jeff Hughes said. “the thing is with holiday parties and new years coming up and things like that if you are out and about and you’ve had anything to drink make sure that you do have a designated driver and be smart.”

District Attorney-elect John Gillespie said he believes not planning ahead is the reason the numbers are up.

“People want to go out. They want to have a good time. They want to party. You know that’s fine but make responsible choices and think ahead,” Gillespie said. “You know are you going to Uber, are you going to call a cab, are you going to have a designated driver, what are you going to do.”

Gillespie and Hughes both said alcohol-related DUIs are the biggest misconception when thinking about influenced accidents and driving.

According to Hughes,  under the influence is “under the influence of anything,” so if someone is driving a vehicle, if they are operating a motor vehicle on the public roadway and are under the influence of anything that will affect judgment, then you can be arrested for DWI.

“You can have a whole different drugs you know Valium and alcohol or Xanax and alcohol or other illegal substances and alcohol,” Gillespie said. “There’s a whole lot of substances that can cause impairment and make people unsafe for the roads.”

Hughes and Gillespie said they hope people will take the proper precautions to not only save your life but possibly someone else’s life. 

For some driving while impaired statistics, click here.

Check out the other stores in the Project Roadblock series:

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