DWI-related arrests in College Station down compared to this time last year

College Station police have made 227 DWI-related arrests so far in 2020.
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 10:59 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - While two major crashes in which police say alcohol was a contributing factor occurred in the BCS area over the weekend, DWI-related arrests in College Station are down compared to this point last year, according to CSPD data.

College Station police have made 227 DWI-related arrests so far in 2020. By October 19, 2019, CSPD had made 303 arrests connected to drunk driving.

“That’s about a 25% decrease," said Officer Tristen Lopez with CSPD. "How much of that is due to fewer people in town because of COVID-19, we’re not really sure, but our DWI-related arrests are down about a quarter this year.”

Lopez says the number of DWI-related crashes are also down.

“In 2020 so far, we’ve had about 29 DWI-related crashes," Lopez said. "In all of 2019, we had about 44 DWI-related crashes.”

Over the past month, CSPD has made 25 DWI-related arrests compared to 41 over the same time period in 2019. Nine of those 25 arrests during that period in 2020 have come in the past week. An order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott allowed local bars to reopen five days ago on October 14.

“The rule specifically attributed to bars also require that bars stop selling alcohol at 11:00 p.m.," Lopez said. "So what’s the difference between a bar and a restaurant? Are you classified as a bar, or are you operating as a restaurant, and when do you stop selling alcohol? I don’t really know how that would impact our DWI-related crashes.”

Lopez says everyone should always have a plan to get home before they go out with the intention of drinking. He also wants to remind drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

“DWI is one of the leading causes of fatalities on Texas roadways," Lopez said. "In 2018, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that about one in four fatality crashes on Texas roadways, DWI was a factor.”

Lopez says the CSPD is participating in the TxDOT Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant. The grant provides state money that allows officers to work overtime for specific traffic-related offenses.

“What we’re looking for when we’re working on STEP time is what are the hazardous violations that we can target to try to reduce the number of crashes on our roadways,” Lopez said. “It’s specifically in the areas where we have high numbers of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities, and then we’ll go to those intersections and enforce speeding, running red lights, and policing DWIs.”

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