Abilene Police Sees Drop in DWI arrests, Police Chief Says it's Still too High

Published 12/31 2013 05:39PM

Updated 12/31 2013 06:16PM

The number of DWI arrests in 2013 has dropped slightly since last year, the Abilene Police Department says.

According to Abilene crime statistics, there were 414 driving while intoxicated arrests in 2012. As of the last week of December 2013, Abilene police saw 345 arrests, according to Regional Analysis & Information Data Sharing (RAIDS). The number is small compared to two years ago when the amount reached over 600 arrests.

"It looks good but it's still too many," Stan Standridge, Abilene Chief of Police said. "That's nearly one drunk arrest every day on our streets."

The number can change after New Year's Eve which is why Chief Standridge urges people to think twice before drinking and driving.

"It's a senseless crime," Chief Standrdige says. "Start the year right by choosing not to get behind the wheel intoxicated."

Nevertheless, Chief Standridge attributes the change to involved community members and the "Stay Alive, Don't Drink & Drive Campaign" that started less than two years ago.

In 2012, there were eight deaths caused by DWI-related accidents and this year, there's only been one, according to public information officer George Spindler. However, Chief Standridge advises not to look at the numbers.

"People should think in terms of families and the odds of getting injured by a drunk driver," says Chief Standridge.

To help provide designated driving, local cab companies such as Key City Cab have prepared for a month in anticipation for New Year's Eve.

"Some people wait all year just to go out on New Year's Eve," Larry Cherry, Key City Cab owner said.

Cherry has been in the business for over a year and started Key City Cab nearly six months. He expects business to boom on New Year's but Cherry feels the obligation to keep people safe.

"You can go out and have a good time, but be responsible to call a cab," says Cherry.

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