BIG LAKE, TX (KWES) - Big Lake has seen a rise in number of DWI arrests in 2016. At one point, the city average 18 arrests per year, after the first three months of 2016, the number is at 21.
Reagan County Sheriff, Jeff Garner said, "If we continue to have this number of arrests for DWI's, it's probably something we are going to have to address as a community as to what's causing the problem."
Officials believe the number of arrests stems from an active bar scene and loss of jobs.
"We have people that are now out of work that for the last several years have been working a lot. Or they have had hours cut and they are not working as long," said Garner.
Even though there haven't been any crashes related to DWI's, deputies have had to deal with above average blood alcohol levels.
"When you start looking at a .134, .171, .256 that's getting up there that's not a couple beers with a meal," said Garner.
Residents of Big Lake found the statistics staggering.
Eddie Soliz, a resident of Big Lake said, "It's just very surprising to hear everything that's going on."
Deanna O'Bryan, another resident said, "To hear that there's a rise in DWI's makes me think that people are turning to a bottle."
Officials believe the only way to curb the issue is to continue to educate the public.
"People will find more work and they will get busy and they won't have time to start drinking early in the day," said Soliz.
"I'd like to see Big Lake pull together as a whole and try to find new ways to bring our community up," said O'Bryan.
Sheriff Garner said they will continue to educate the public on the importance of having a designated driver when you plan on going out.