CrimeWatch: DWI Unit Wants More Manpower - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

CrimeWatch: DWI Unit Wants More Manpower


Austin Police say too many drunk drivers are not getting caught in the Capital City and that's why the DWI Unit is asking for more manpower.

Corporal Ryan Herring says "there's a problem in Austin, Texas. We consistently kill more people on our roads in cars from drunk driving accidents than we do with handguns and knives in this city."

Senior Police Officer Bob Mitchell says, one reason is "people get used to that culture of oh well, I drove home and nothing happened, I drove home intoxicated and nothing happened."

Cpl. Herring, "We only have 14 officers assigned to the DWI Unit and there are so many more intoxicated drivers on just Fridays and Saturdays that we can handle and patrol officers are tied up with 911 calls, unfortunately, there's a lot of drunk drivers that do not get caught because we simply do not have the manpower."

The unit wants 7 more officers, plus a corporal and a Sergeant. The extra manpower would cover Sundays and Mondays, two days that aren't covered by the DWI Unit right now. Patrol officers arrest drunk drivers on those days. The additional group would also help on Fridays and Saturdays, the busiest nights. The peak hours, or rush hours on those nights, between 2 and 3 am.

Officer Mitchell, "I might be taking someone who's intoxicated to jail and you see these violations but I can't do anything because I already have someone I have to take care of in the back of my car."

The Austin Police Department is getting 48 new officers.

Right now, the DWI Unit works Tuesday through Saturdays from 7:30 at night until 5:30 in the morning.

Follow Jenni on Twitter@jennileefox7.

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