Del. Officials Say Extra Enforcement Increased Holiday DUI Arres - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Officials Say Extra Enforcement Increased Holiday DUI Arrests

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Rehoboth Beach police (Photo: WBOC) Rehoboth Beach police (Photo: WBOC)

UNDATED- DUI arrests went up this holiday season in Delaware due to heavy-handed enforcement and paid overtime officers, according to the state Office of Highway Safety.

OHS officials said they noticed crash rates in all areas were going up between Thanksgiving and New Year's, specifically when it came to impaired driving.

"With all the information that's out there today about not drinking and driving you would think people would take the taxis or alternate transportation or have a designated driver," Chief Keith Banks of the Rehoboth Beach Police Department said.

However, this was not always the case. 

According to OHS, in the 2013-2014 holiday season, there were 587 DUI arrests, but that number dramatically dropped to 501 the next year.

So, for the 2015-2016 holiday season, the state funded paid law enforcement and had officers work overtime during that time period.

It led to 592 arrests, something officials said is significant.

This cost about $180,000, but OHS representatives said it proves heavy handed enforcement works, not just safe driving education.

Rehoboth Beach was one local department that added officers and saw an increase in arrests.

"Education's always a good way but it has to go hand-in-hand with enforcement and we're trying to educate before we catch them for drinking and driving but unfortunately we have to back that up with saturation patrols and enforcement," he explained.

Unfortunately however, the number of impaired driving-related deaths did not significantly drop. In fact, it remains around 50 percent of all deadly accidents. Officials said this could be due to an increased use of illicit and prescription drugs.

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