Alcohol-related crashes are already down in 2013
POSTED: Friday, March 8, 2013 - 7:48pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 11, 2013 - 10:16am
Tyler , TX (KETK) — We reported Thursday about Tyler and some other East Texas cities' sales tax revenue going up.
It's possibly due to the areas selling alcohol.
There are also some reports that show the number of DUI and alcohol-related crashes are down because of our newly passed alcohol law.
Parts of Tyler and Smith County voted in alcohol sales overwhelmingly in November.
In fact, 70% percent.
Along with an economic boost, those in favor of the new law believed it would reduce the number of alcohol related crashes.
The reason why is because people would not have to travel outside of their area to get alcohol.
John Hatch, who works for the Texas Petition Strategies out of Austin, came to the area to help put the beer and wine sale petition on the ballot.
Hatch says the numbers of alcohol-related crashes do go down when a community becomes wet.
"Instead of people having to drive 20 to 30 miles they can drive 2 miles to the nearest grocery store to buy beer and wine and go home, your reducing the amount of time to be on the highway. By just those raw numbers, the number of fatalities should go down."
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 53 total alcohol related crashes in Smith County this year compared to 280 last year and 332 in 2009.
Tyler Police Department also reported there were 22 DWI's issued compared to 33 last year, which is a 33% decrease year over year.
But, Peace Officers are saying its still too early to tell.
Trooper Jean Dark with the Department of Public Safety says they do not know if the area becoming wet is the reason why the numbers are so low.
"It's awfully low it's just two months into the year as well. It takes a lot more information over an extended period of time to get a good general picture of the whole situation."