New year brings five arrests for DWI; more than usual

Despite increased drunken driving awareness and a free shuttle service, police made five DWI arrests from from 11:20 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 7:30 a.m. New Year’s Day in Austin.

Historically, that is more than the past several New Year’s, according to Austin Police Department records. Austin Police made two DWI arrests each on New Year’s Eves in 2008, 2009 and 2010, while they made four in 2007.

“It’s unfortunate,” said police Capt. Dave McKichan. “We kind of tried to spread the message.”

While McKichan said the law enforcement officials will sometimes see four to five DWIs on a regular weekend, that is uncommon.

McKichan said he expected DWI arrests to be consistent with previous years or be fewer, especially with the Big Red Ride shuttle service operating in town for the first year. It stopped at local clubs and gave free rides throughout Austin.

“I am surprised,” McKichan said about the increase in arrests.

No crashes or injuries were reported in connection with the five DWIs.

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