Pflugerville police target drunk drivers

Pflugerville police target drunk drivers

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If drunk drivers may make it out of Austin, officers in Pflugerville will be waiting. Pflugerville police are on track to quadruple their DWI arrests this year compared to just two years ago.

The sun has set in Pflugerville. Officers head out for another night of watching over the roadways.

"An impaired driver is a potential homicide waiting to happen," said Sgt. Chet Veronka.

There is no DWI unit. Just a dozen patrol officers who have a special interest in finding violators in between their regular duties.

"I don't want my family being hit by a drunk driver," said Officer Tyler Summers.

It's frightening what the officers are encountering. People aren't just drinking before they get behind the wheel.

"Increase of people smoking marijuana, smoking drugs, people snorting cocaine and driving," said Summers. "It's a big problem"

Sgt. Chet Veronka and his officers were recently recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their efforts.

In 2011 Pflugerville officers made 32 DWI arrests. In 2012, 103 people were put in jail. So far this year, 117 have been arrested.

Veronka can't help but think, "How many are we missing? How many are we not making contact with?"

Veronka says many of the arrests are those who have been drinking somewhere outside the city... Mainly Austin.

Austin DWI arrests totaled over 64-hundred last year, but there are people who manage to get away.

The officers count on the partnership with the smaller outside agencies to help. And it is a true partnership. APD officers know the Pflugerville officers by name.

"I don't think that any particular agency can do anything more than they're doing now to combat DWI," Veronka said.

While they're searching, the Pflugerville police encourage you to do the same.

"One thing I would like to see more is public interaction. If you're behind a car and you think to yourself it's not safe. That that person is going to hurt somebody or themselves, call 9-1-1 and report it," Veronka said.

Another agency seeing a big increase in DWI arrests is Rollingwood. The officers patrol one square mile.

Last year they made 79 arrests. Like Pflugerville, officers there have had additional DWI training to help catch those leaving Austin.

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