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DPS: Almost 2,000 people in Central Texas charged with DWI in 2017

Drunk driving
Posted at 5:38 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 23:19:22-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — Every day almost thirty people die in drunk driving crashes here in the United States.Outreach campaigns aim to remind drivers to make smart choices before getting behind the wheel.

25 News took a hard look at the number of drunk driving arrests across Central Texas. Tracking charges acts as a barometer for how prevalent the issues is in our area.

According to the Department of Public Safety, there were 888 charges in Bell County in 2017. The report shows that 112 charges were dropped or dismissed.

In McLennan County there were 437 charges and 47 dismissals in 2017. There were 440 charges with six charges dropped or dismissed the following year.

In Brazos County, there were 631 total charges with 46 dismissals in 2017. The numbers of charges rose to 727 with just ten dismissals the following year.

“When people know more about a subject, they have more options when it comes to making a decision,” said Benjamin Samarripa with A&A Drug and Alcohol Education in Killeen. He said outreach and information are a big key to curbing these numbers.

“No matter where you go, you take that knowledge with you. So it doesn’t matter what car you get into, the choice to get into the car in the first place,” said Samarripa.

Educators like Samarripa also break a false sense of security surrounding driving drunk. He said that some people believe that because they drove drunk in the past and did not get pulled over, they must be safe to drive in the future.

Take a look at the statistics in your community, click here.