The holidays are fast approaching, and the Corpus Christi Police Department is doing what it can to curb our city's drunk driving problem.
So far this year, there have been 869 DWI arrests in the city. Compare that with the number last year at this time, and it works out to a 12.2-percent increase.
Police say Chief Floyd Simpson's proactive approach to going after drunk drivers has netted more arrests. The effort includes two officers whose only job is to track down and arrest those who are driving drunk, but they say it is also about educating the public.
Here's a closer look at the numbers so far this year:
Out of the 800 plus arrests for DWI, 310 of those involved a traffic accident.
51 of those arrested had two or more previous charges for drunk driving, and 23 of those arrests were for intoxication assault, where someone was hurt in a car accident.
CCPD Captain Jason Brady said the city's conviction rate is very high because CCPD is one of the few departments in the state that will get a warrant to draw a driver's blood. He said you can expect increased enforcement with additional patrols over the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving, a time when more people who might not normally drink are attending holiday parties.
"I'm not going to drink and drive. I don't want to hurt myself or an innocent third party. A lot of people are gung ho, 'I don't care what happens to me,'" Brady said. "I don't think they realize, if you have spoken with someone who was at fault and caused a death or injury, it's quite a bit to live with."
The department also recently launched a contest for high school students to come up with artwork to prevent drunk driving. Tuesday was the deadline, and the winners were actually picked Wednesday morning. The winning artwork will be put up on billboards around town in hopes of preventing drunk driving.
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