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DWI arrests dropped in 2012
By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas--Starting Wednesday, El Paso police will have its DWI task force out in full force.
The El Paso police department says it will partner with Texas state troopers this Thanksgiving week to help keep Texas roads safe.
"We've seen a decrease in the number of traffic fatalities that have occurred in the last three years, but we've also seen that this year we have an increase in the number of alcohol as a contributing factor," said Petry.
So far this year there have been 2,306 DWI arrests and 45 traffic deaths in El Paso.
Compare that to two years ago when there were 2,634 DWI arrests in the city, and 74 deaths.
El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry tells KFOX14 that could be due to several factors, like the fear of getting arrested, and increased awareness.
"The individual can be charged with intoxicated manslaughter and of course another heavy charge and again, quite a bit of money and sometimes prison time goes with that."
Traffic Deaths DWI Arrests
2013 YTD: 45 deaths 2,306 arrests
2012: 56 deaths 2,444 arrests
2011: 74 deaths 2,634 arrests
"No DUI El Paso" has helped many people stay off the roads, getting them home safely.
Since opening in October 2012, the group says its volunteers have given rides to over 2,400 people.
Every weekend the nonprofit organization has volunteers who drive people to their homes.
"We actually transport their vehicles home for them," said No DUI El Paso chief sales manager Robert Barnes. "They know they don't have to leave their vehicle at the bar at the club and have to go back for it the next day."
Police say people need to drink responsibly this Thanksgiving, and say the best way to avoid a serious crime is to avoid drinking and driving completely.
"It's a high price to pay when every single DWI incident, every single driver, every DWI offense can be preventable," said Petry.
Unfortunately, this year No DUI El Paso will be out of service Wednesday and on Thanksgiving because of lack of volunteers.
If you would like to become a volunteer, vist www.noduielpaso.com.