It was a busy weekend for the Odessa Police Department, as a special assignment led to the arrest of 22 individuals charged with driving while intoxicated.
That amount of arrests in one weekend is close to the amount of charges in the past four weekends of February, which saw 30 individuals charged.
Of the 22 charges, four had been charged with a DWI before, and one was charged with a DWI with a child passenger, a state jail felony.
But this rise in charges doesn’t necessarily mean there were more drunk drivers on the road than usual. OPD Spokesman Steve LeSueur said the OPD carried out a special assignment targeting drunk drivers in order to better enforce the law and prevent accidents.
“We’re always making DWI arrests,” LeSueur said. “It’s never ending.”
LeSueur said this isn’t the first time they have carried out an assignment like this, and they usually try to carry out several assignments a year focused on DWI charges.
Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesman Sgt. Oscar Villarreal said the Highway Patrol hasn’t seen a particular rise in DWI charges, but that the amount has been steady.
“On a weekend, the statistics for having a DWI arrest, the probability is higher,” Villarreal said. “Spring break is coming up, that will also increase the probability.”
With spring break in mind, DPS sent out some tips for drivers to keep in mind, as they said spring break often brings about increased traffic.
DPS said in a release to not drink and drive, and those consuming alcohol should make alternate travel plans. They also said drivers should slow down, particularly in areas of bad weather and construction areas, and to buckle their seatbelt.
Spring break for Ector County Independent School District begins next week on March 12 and ends March 16.