Keller, Texas More than Doubles DWI Arrests in Six-Year Span

Between 2000 and 2005, the number of DWI arrests in Keller more than doubled. Police hope this well-publicized spike in DWI arrests acts as a deterrent for any drunk drivers who plan on driving through Keller. Interestingly, the number in DWI arrests in surrounding Tarrant County cities have gone down. 
 
When asked what has lead to this changing of the tides, Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney, Richard Alpert, admitted his belief that the full-time patrol officer Keller specially trained to recognize drunk drivers was the sole catalyst for the spike in DWI arrests. Alpert complimented Keller’s efforts to combat drunk driving stating, “They’ve really stepped it up.” 
 
Other surrounding cities that do not have full-time officers specifically for DWI’s include Euless, Hurst, and Bedford – but regardless, these three cities do their part to fight drunk driving by using state grants to pay overtime to officers willing to patrol for DWI-related crime. 
 
Grapevine is budgeted for two full-time DWI-specialized officers, but only runs with one. The second DWI officer was killed by a drunk driver in June of 2004. Grapevine Sgt. Todd Dearing said the city plans to eventually fill that spot, but the city is focusing on bolstering their patrol staff before hiring someone to replace the late Darren Medlin.
 
Keller’s DWI officer, Craig Berry, said he expects the number of DWI arrests to continue increasing during the hot summer months and as the number of locations that serve liquor increase in the city.  
 
The number of DWI arrests in Keller went from 176 in 2000 to 384 in 2005. Keller also contracts out police services to Westlake. 
 
Euless counted 258 DWI arrests in 2001, compared to the sharp increase by 2005 of 426 DWI arrests. 
 
Comparing populations in both areas, Keller, including those they contract to in Westlake, has a total of about 37,000 residents. Euless is nearly 53,000. Both cities would prefer to add more officers to patrol specifically for DWI-related crimes, but the training costs more than either town can currently afford and quite a bit of time. 
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