3 time offenders: 124,662
5 time offenders: 18,271
DUI Fatalities: 1,259
% of total traffic deaths DUI related 42
% of change in DUI fatalities from previous to current year: 0.5
State subsidy of drunk driving fatalities: $5.9 Billion
Police department gets 'MADD' at drunk drivers: Carrollton PD says
drunk driving is major concern for department
Drunken driving is nothing new — it's something police departments
have been battling for years. The problem is of particular importance
to the state of Texas, which has the second-largest amount of annual alcohol-related
accidents, according to
"Last year, the staff assisted more than 4,000 victims of drunken
driving incidents," said Jeff Miracle, MADD Dallas executive director.
On a local level, The Colony Police Department made 72 DWI arrests in 2011,
representing 4 percent of the total 2,058 arrests in the city. This number
does not include DUI Minor charges, since individuals do not have to be
intoxicated to be charged. The city also had 191 public intoxication arrests
in 2011, representing 9 percent of total charges in the city.
More recently, from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31, 55 people were arrested for
DWIs and 119 were arrested for public intoxication. If arrest rations
remain on the current track, officials say the department will see nearly
2,300 arrests, 91 of which would be DWI related.
Darren Brockway, public information officer for the department, said if
drivers could witness the devastation drunk driving accidents have on
families as it happens, it would make most people think before driving
"In my 23 years of law enforcement, some of the most horrific scenes
that seem to linger are the traffic fatalities involving a drunk driver,"
he said. "Not only can some of those scenes be extremely gruesome,
but part of our job in law enforcement is notifying the deceased's
next of kin. Waking up a spouse, parent, or other beloved family member
in the middle of the night to tell them their loved one has been killed,
seems to haunt me more than anything else an officer has to endure."
In an effort to do just that, the department has become involved with the
"Shattered Dreams" program put on by the area's TABC agents.
This program gets wrecked cars and has students from The Colony High School
reenact a fatality accident scene complete with police and fire emergency
vehicles — in addition to a Care Flight Helicopter — to participate
in the reenactment.
"The scene is reenacted in the street of TCHS and takes place around
the time of area high school proms," Brockway said. "It also
follows a week long anti-drinking and driving campaign."
With the size of the department and the personnel allotted, The Colony
Police Department found the best way to curtail drunken driving is through
preventative measures, in addition to enforcement, Brockway said.
"The traffic division allots officers to work DWI enforcement in conjunction
with the state declared enforcement weekends — like Labor Day weekend,"
he said. "Prevention-wise, our agency takes two approaches. You may
have noticed that the arrests for public intoxication is double that of
DWI. I always think, 'How many of those people who were arrested for
PI were eventually going to be driving a vehicle at some point?'"
Detectives from the criminal investigations division will at times pose
as patrons at local bars and arrest other patrons who are obviously intoxicated
before they can get behind a wheel and drive, Brockway said.
"What is ironic about drunk driving accidents is that although it
is one of the most devastating events that has the potential to generate
so much tragedy, it is also one of the most preventable," Brockway
said. "Simply handing the keys to a sober driver or getting a ride
is all the action one needs to do in order to not become a part of a troublesome
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced
criminal defense attorney for your Denton County DWI case or arrest in
Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no charge
or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.580.2899.
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court
of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For
legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult