Number of DWI Arrests High in Midland, Ector County - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Number of DWI Arrests High in Midland, Ector County

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - Two deadly crashes in Midland over the weekend had at least one thing in common: Alcohol.

One person died in each of those wrecks and the risk of a drunk driver on Basin roads is higher than you might think.

Two lives were cut short over the weekend. Charles Hodges with Stop DWI said it's a tragedy that didn't have to happen.

"It makes us sad to see these kinds of things because they can be prevented," he said.

On Friday night, 35-year-old Natalie Hartman was killed after she was struck while walking near Midkiff and Wadley.

Police say 22-year-old Stefanie Moore was behind the wheel and intoxicated.

Then early Sunday morning, 21-year-old Roberto Vasquez died after crashing his vehicle into a tree on W. Illinois in downtown Midland.

Officials say Vasquez was driving the wrong way down the street and alcohol was also a factor.

Four other people were in the vehicle with him.

As NewsWest 9 found out, drunk driving on Basin roads is more common than you may think.

In 2012, 990 people were arrested throughout Ector County for driving while intoxicated. We're not even halfway through 2013 and Midland County looks to surpass that number.

Since January First, 630 people have been booked into the Midland County jail for DWI offenses.

"Our numbers are perennially, are always the highest in this area as far as DWI enforcement," Lt. Ray Leible, with the Midland Police Department, said.

Law enforcement agencies said they're cracking down to prevent drunk driving accidents.

"Patrol divisions are assigning a couple of officers a night throughout the weekend to go work DWI's," Leible said.

Hodges said he'd like to see interlock devices for first time offenders and no refusal laws among other things.

"Upping the court costs," Hodges said. "When it hits us in the pocketbook, we seem to pay attention."

He said it's not worth the money and not worth the risk.

"When people take on the attitude it can't happen to me, rest assured, it will," Hodges said.

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