DWI arrests decrease in Lufkin this New Year's weekend

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Records show there was a dramatic decrease in driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests this year.

The Angelina County Sheriff report his deputies arrested half as many violators as last year during the same time period.

"Officers are keen to watch for it," said J.B. Smith, detective at Lufkin Police Department. "They know what they're looking for, they know where the problem areas typically are, and they stay on top of it."

Smith said the low DWI arrests numbers stayed consistent.

"They stay pretty steady. We looked back at stats to 2012 at sporadic points of the year, so about an average of seven DWI arrests made," said Smith.

Sheriff Greg Sanches at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office believes the cause of the low numbers this year may be due to the cold weather.

"Sometimes things of that nature will have an affect. The warmer the weather the more people will tend to get out," said Sanches.

He said ride sharing programs like UBER and strict laws helped keep the roads safe.

"Law enforcement are going to be out there in full force. I also think the laws themselves have helped because the laws are very strict now compared to twenty years ago," Sanches said.

When people do decide to break those strict laws by drinking and driving, law enforcement will be around.

"It's a free country and people are going to consume. Some of those people are going to get in the car afterwards, so we're there to look for it," Smith said.

In Texas, a driver is charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol content is above .08%.

Penalties include fines, loss of driving privileges and possible jail time.

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