Houston area drunk driving numbers are down, but for how long?

Drunk driving numbers going down during coronavirus pandemic
Drunk driving numbers going down during coronavirus pandemic

HOUSTON – For years, Harris County has led the country in drunk driving fatalities, and as Channel 2 Investigates has shown you, tens of thousands of DWI charges are filed each year. But the coronavirus pandemic caused a dip in drunk driving numbers.

“I think there is always going to be a certain segment of the population that is always going to drink and drive,” said Sean Teare, the Harris County prosecutor who has made it his mission to bring down alcohol-related crashes and fatalities. So you’d think he’d be happy about a 45% drop in DWI cases through April, compared to the same period last year, and a 44% drop in cases just from March.

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“We are seeing a decrease, a significant decrease, but it’s not enough,” Teare said.

Julio Zaghi with Mothers Against Drunk Driving shares those reservations.

“I’m encouraged, but I know the real world. People are going to go back to their things,” Zaghi said.

Harris County isn’t alone in seeing a drop in the numbers. Fort Bend, Montgomery, and Galveston counties all reported significant decreases in DWI cases.

But the question is will the trend will stick?