APD Chief wants drunk drivers to be held accountable - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD Chief wants drunk drivers to be held accountable

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Gabrielle Nestande isn't the only one in Travis County to get behind the wheel after drinking and cause a deadly accident.

Chief Art Acevedo says he cannot comment on the Nestande case but there is no excuse for drinking and driving.

"Too many of our neighbors friends are dying at the hands of drunk drivers," Chief Acevedo said.

The chief says the bigger problem is in Travis County he feels too often jurors goes easy on the offenders.

"Because you know what you are the other guy --the juror who is sitting there saying give that person a second chance he didn't mean it. You know what uhhh when you get arrested for drunk driving, when you crash drunk driving… I assure you it's not the first time that person was drinking and driving," Chief Acevedo said.

Acevedo says his issue is the lack of accountability for fatal drinking and driving cases.

"If you give that person a pass the next time they kill somebody it may be you your loved one or may be someone you care about," he said.

He says a few weeks ago two women's lives were violently taken by a drunk driver. It's an incident that still upsets him.

"The price that person paid that killed those two women in this county in this city is probation and for those who would say ‘ahh it's just an accident' you know what it isn't an accident. It's a crime it's a homicide, it's a lawful murder and we have to change that mindset in this city," he said.

Chief Acevedo says he works tirelessly to change the mindset "that drinking and driving is ok" with his a mandatory blood draw and no refusal weekends.

"For those who say we should not be nonconsensual testing… no refusal weekend … I say go tell that to the victims. These aren't stats these are real human beings with people who care about them," Chief Acevedo said.

While it is making an impact, the Chief says the thinking and behavior clearly needs to change after one look at a recent FOX 7 text poll where we asked. If you have ever gotten behind the wheel to drive after five drinks and 70 percent of our viewers said "yes."

The chief wants people to know impairment starts with the first drink and tonight he has a message to this community.

"We can't afford to act like we are a sleepy little college town and we can't afford to act like that. We are huge, fastest growing city in the nation and if we don't start upping the ante there will be more negative consequences that we will not want to face," he said.

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