The Dangers of Drunk Drivers - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Special Report - Highway Terror

The Dangers of Drunk Drivers

It's a Thursday Night, and Nacogdoches Police Officer Jonathan Adams is patrolling on the midnight shift.

Adams is ready to deal with whatever comes his way. Too often, what comes his way are drunk drivers.

"We're out here on the streets every night and we see the accidents and people's lives ruined over drinking and driving," said Officer Jonathan Adams.

It's a problem that can be found in every community, including college towns like Nacogdoches.

Over the past six months Nacogdoches police have made 101 D.W.I. arrests. Most of those arrested were between the ages of 18 and 22.

"It just seems like they feel like they can do more with the car than they are capable of doing, and they don't realize how impaired they are," said Adams.

In most college towns, Thursday nights are one of the biggest "party" nights of the week.

As the bars and clubs begin to close down, that's when police officers go on high alert.

A car filled with co-eds was stopped for a standard traffic violation by Officer Adams. But when He stepped up to the car, Adams smelled alcohol.

After performing numerous sobriety tests, he discovered the driver had not been drinking and she was free to go.

"She hadn't had anything at all. She was the designated driver," Adams said.

But sometimes, officers literally stumble across drunks.

"I pulled up at an intersection. A man was stumbling down the road," Adams said.

Police said not only was the unidentified male so drunk that he was headed in the wrong direction to his dorm room, he was also underage and in possession of marijuana.

The man's night ended with a trip to jail.

Adams said he and his fellow officers take no chances. If they suspect you've been drinking, they're going to do their best to get you off the road.

"Pretty much know that any weekend night there's pretty much going to be intoxicated people driving up and down the road, almost just a given," Adams said.

For police officers like Jonathan Adams, the hope is that they can catch up to the drunk drivers, before the drunk drivers catch up to you.

You may think you don't have to worry about D.W.I.s, but there are some startling facts that beg to differ.

About three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives. In fact, someone in America dies in an alcohol-related crash every 30 minutes.

To beat the odds, never get behind the wheel of a car after you've been drinking.

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