Abilene Sees Spike in DWI Arrests Over Holidays

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The New Year's weekend was busy for a lot of people, and the Abilene Police Department was no exception. Over the weekend from Dec. 30th to Jan. 1st, they made a total of 10 DWI arrests.

This number is down from the 11 arrests made last year, but up from the 3 arrests made in the 2014-2015 New Year's weekend. One resulted from a wreck, and the others were a combination of concerned citizen 9-1-1 calls and vigilant patrolling by officers.

Some businesses, such as bail bonds and attorneys, often see an increase in business around holidays due to the increase in DWI arrests made.

Cory Lee, a bail bondsman at Bad Boys Bail Bonds here in Abilene, has seen the trend of increased business around the holidays throughout the years. So much so that he opened an interlocking business right next door.

An interlock is a mechanism sometimes required to be installed on the cars of DWI offenders. With an interlock installed, in order for the car to start, the driver must blow into it and record their BAC.

Randy Wilson, a criminal defense attorney in Abilene, says "the problem with a DWI that a lot of people don't realize is that there's some far reaching ramifications."

According to Wilson, a first time offense for DWI can result in fees and penalties in excess of $10,000 total. One of the penalties of a DWI is the suspension of a driver's license. Wilson says this doesn't stop many people from driving without it, which then creates a number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the roads. These drivers can pose a risk to others, especially in the case of an accident.

"I actually had a head-on collision with a drunk driver at 2 o'clock in the afternoon on South 1st street, hit me head-on. I was dead stopped at a red light," recalls Wilson. Luckily, no one was injured as a result.

But that's not always the case. For that reason, the Abilene Police Department recommends that you always have a plan to get home before you start any celebration or activity that involves drinking. They say that although 10 DWI arrests are better than a higher amount, they would prefer the total number to be zero.

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