APD addressed Austin's DWI problem - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD addressed Austin's DWI problem

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DWI crashes are completely avoidable. Police Chief Art Acevedo says drinking and driving happens every day and night in Austin.

"I can't tell you how many tragic scenes I've been to where people have needlessly lost their lives, their freedom and, in some instances, their limbs, their ability to walk and talk, because they made the choice to drink and drive," said Acevedo.

This surveillance video is from a recent DWI crash at a south Austin 7-11.

Arrest reports show the driver, 51 year-old Dorina Sandoval, admitted to smoking a joint before driving.

It also reveals two 40 ounce bottles of Olde English malt liquor were in the backseat.

We did some research and found out Dorina Sandoval has some priors on her record-possession of a controlled substance, without a prescription and driving with an invalid license.

She pled guilty and no contest to both offenses.

Acevedo said, "We have one of the largest state universities in the country...People come here from all over the nation and the world to party and sometimes people use bad judgment."

On December 25th, 2013, this mother did not use good judgment.

Jessica Hernandez ended up crashing her SUV into a utility pole, with her two year-old son in the backseat.

Police say she was drunk, telling officers her son was, "100 and a half" years old.

"When you look at fatal incidents, fatal crashes that again, are avoidable, DWI in this city is still playing a significant role," said Acevedo.

This DWI crash on February 4th, took the lives of two people.

40-year-old Melissa Marshall was the driver behind the wheel.

Acevedo said, "We're going to continue with our no refusal initiatives. We're going to continue to focus our resources on the nights, during the events where we know there's going to be a lot of DWI and at the end of the day, we're not going to rest until we bring that number down."

In one month, statistics show Austin's had 365 DWI's.

"We know we're never going to eliminate it, but we're going to do everything within our power to try to get people home safely where they belong," said Acevedo.

Acevedo hopes drivers will learn a lesson from any of the scenes they respond to.

He added, "There's really no excuse...for people to be making this kind of poor choice, because it is a choice."

Dorina Sandoval was released from jail on bond Friday. She's charged with failure to maintain clear distance and driving while intoxicated.

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