Police Credit Computer System With Rise in DWI Arrests

New system reduces time to process driver

Lewisville police say drunken-driving arrests are up because a new state computer system cuts down on the amount of time it takes to process a driver.

Officers arrested 60 people on drunken-driving charges last month. Most of the arrests were made on Interstate 35E and Business 121.

The department says the new computer system lets officers spend more time of the street.

"Before, it would take an officer up to eight hours to complete a report," Officer Chris Clements said.

Within 20 minutes of driving along Interstate 35, Clements cited a driver for an open can of beer at about 6:30 p.m.

"Even people out during the day -- you'd be surprised how many people are over the legal limit," Clements said.

He stopped a swerving pickup truck when he noticed the beer, Clements said.

"When I got up there, I noticed a beer in the center console, and it had about a quarter of the can left," he said.

The driver passed a field sobriety test and was issued a ticket for an open container.

Clements has arrested 150 people this year on suspicion of drunken driving.

"Three is the highest number I've had on my shift," he said. "I haven't been able to break that record yet, but I'm trying."

The department is averaging 40 or 50 arrests a month.

Motorist Manuj Singhal said the number of arrests was "scary."

"It's a little concerning," he said. "I didn't realize there were that many."

Lewisville police entered more DWI cases into the new system last month than any other department in the state.

Police said they are now able to process a driver in half the time it used to take.

"I feel more confident that there are police officers looking out for us and not spending too much time with all the paperwork," Lewisville resident Mary Rolfe said.

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