D.W.I. Fatalities Higher Than Ever Across West Texas

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

"This situation is one of the most bizarre that you run across," Charles Hodges, Stop DWI, said.

Friday morning's accident marks the 12th DWI fatality so far this year.

"We're seeing more accidents and by the same token, more fatalities overall," Lt. Brian Bogart, with the Midland Police Department, said. "We're seeing more accidents because our traffic volumes in town are growing."

Traffic volume has gone up 17 percent over the past year, and DWI fatalities are higher than ever.

"The more people we have here the more people we have going to clubs, driving at night, and more intoxication involved accidents," Lt. Bogart said.

"We're seeing more DWI," Hodges said. "The area we live in is affluent. The oil industry is booming and people have more money and more leisure."

Midland police say all too often, folks are making poor decisions after heavy drinking.

"The guy that lives about a half a mile from the bar he thinks he's close enough and nothing will happen between here and there," Lt. Bogart said.

And because there's more and more families needing victim assistance, it's keeping Stop DWI busier than ever. In fact, there are only three individuals in our area that provide DWI victim advocacy.

"Right now, we're working with seven different families as a result of DWI in 2008," Hodges said. "We're asking for public help. I can't do it, the police can't do it, only the public can do it and when they do, we'll see the situation decrease."