Harris County Sheriff's Office reports decline in DWI fatalities
The Harris County Sheriff's Office reports a significant decline in alcohol-related traffic fatalities through June 2012.
According to a press release, this decline comes at the same time that Harris County Sheriff's crime-fighter DWI arrests have risen every year for the past five years.
There have been 24 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the county from January through June 2012. That compares to 48 in 2011, 27 in 2010, 38 in 2009 and 37 in 2008 for the same time period.
"Twenty-four deaths in the first six months of this year is 24 too many," said Sheriff Adrian Garcia, in the press release. "But the trend line is encouraging. Maybe the driving public is getting the message. If you drink and get behind the wheel, not only will there be a good chance you will be caught and jailed, but you also may end up with the blood of innocents on your hands."
The sheriff said he was proud of the agency's patrol deputies and other officers for making communities safer by boosting the number of DWI arrests in recent years. This increase in arrests came during a government freeze on law enforcement hiring, the sheriff noted in the press release. He reports that the office is hiring again and adding deputies to the patrol force.
Although court-ordered alcoholism intervention programs have helped increase awareness of the dangers of DWI, Garcia thinks that increasing arrests has been a factor.
"I hope the increase in arrests is part of what led to the decrease in DWI fatalities," Garcia said in the press release. "But that is no reason for us to become complacent. Intoxication will still be the road to incarceration."
For more information, call 713-755-4679 or visit hcso.hctx.net.
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