Local News

DWI arrests on the rise in Raleigh, police report

Posted July 4

DWI Checkpoint

— The number of motorists charged with driving while impaired in Raleigh in the first half of 2014 has nearly doubled over the same time frame last year, while the number of DWI-related deaths is down, police said Friday.

By the end of June, officers had charged 1,484 people, compared with 794 between January and June 2013 – an 86.9 percent increase.

Meanwhile, the number of DWI-related traffic fatalities was significantly lower during that time period. Twelve people died in 2013. Two people died this year.

"We know better than to read too much into a half-year's statistics, but there is certainly reason to take note of our officers' efforts thus far," Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said. "As we enter the upcoming July Fourth weekend and are in the midst of the Governor's Highway Safety Program's Booze It & Lose It campaign, we have good reason to believe we have saved lives."

Deck-Brown attributes the increase in arrests to both a dedicated DWI unit formed last year – it's made 428 arrests – and nearly all the rest to patrol officers assigned to the Raleigh Police Department's six sub-stations throughout the city.

"We will always do our best to eliminate DWI-related deaths, and my message to our officers at this point has been two-fold," said Deck-Brown. "I have thanked them for their hard work, and I have encouraged them to keep it up during the second half of the year and beyond."

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