DOPD – October 2015 Article
Double Oak Police Department
On Tuesday October 6th, 2015, communities across Texas will be observing National Night Out by hosting neighborhood parties, turning on front porch lights, meeting with their local police officers and taking a positive stance against crime. National Night Out was introduced in 1984 to promote involvement in crime prevention, police-community partnerships, and to send a message that neighborhoods are fighting back. National Night Out culminates annually in Texas on the first Tuesday of October. (http://natw.org/about).
This year the Town of Double Oak will be hosting its fourth National Night Out event at John B. Wright memorial park between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. We are planning on having two bounce houses, a 9-1-1 call simulator staffed by a public safety dispatcher, Double Oak Officers and equipment, an anticipated visit from Sheriff Will Travis and staff from the Sheriff’s department. Hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be provided courtesy of volunteer team members from Target. We look forward to meeting with you.
With the holidays approaching fast a few reminders about drunk driving:
Some good news: “In the United States, the number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half since 1980”. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2012).
Education, DWI enforcement, airbags, seatbelt safety laws, and the improved ability to report drunk drivers (establishment of 911 call centers and the proliferation of cellphones) have all combined to reduce intoxicated driving and literally save tens of thousands of lives.
Now the bad: “50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drives continue to drive on a suspended license.” (Peck, R.C., Wilson, R.J., and Sutton, L. 1995. “Driver license strategies for controlling the persistent DUI offender, Strategies for Dealing with the intent Drinking Driver.”)
This isn’t a surprise to police officers or district attorney’s offices. It’s a rare month when an officer doesn’t bump into a motorist driving on a suspended license.
“The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25 year olds (23.4 percent).” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.” September 2011.)
“Drunk driving involvement in fatal crashes in 2011 was 4.5 times higher at night than during the day (National Highway Traffic Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Alcohol-Impaired Driving” Washington DC: NHSTA, 2012).
“In 2013, 10,076 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 52 minutes – and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes.” (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2014.)
It’s very, very hard to draw correlations between actions taken and a reduction in crime (how do you prove what didn’t happen?). Maybe the reduction in deaths was due merely to coincidence and not increased enforcement, better designed cars, education programs, establishment of 911 call centers, and the efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. I strongly suspect that the reductions in death and injuries through intoxicated driving has been the result of a multitude of causations.
What I do know is that the current death and injury toll is still unacceptably high. As we go into the holiday season I ask you to remember as parents that the drinking behaviors you model will, in all probability, be those that your children follow. Please be a good role model for your family.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve,