Deputies with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office had their hands full this holiday season dealing with drivers allegedly impaired by alcohol or drugs.
According to Cpl. Doug Rainwater of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, over the holiday weekend deputies recorded a total of 22 DUI arrests in Forsyth County, bringing the total DUI arrests for the month of December up to 63.
Rainwater said that the spike in arrests is due to an initiative by the sheriff’s office to crack down on DUIs, after Deputy First Class Rod Reeves was seriously injured by a suspected drunk driver in November.
When considering the large number of arrests, Rainwater said that he was mystified at why people haven’t gotten the message about drinking and driving.
“I don’t know if people don’t watch TV, or read the newspaper, or if they don’t know how many of us are out here. It’s probably a combination. In some cases they don’t care, and in some cases they might be an alcoholic and will do it regardless of whether we are sitting around the corner waiting for them,” Rainwater said.
He said that the sheriff’s office will continue to pursue offenders until numbers drop.
Statistics provided by Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Crime Analyst Lisa Phillips shows that of the 22 alleged DUIs recorded over the New Year’s weekend, 15 were alcohol related, three were drug related, two involved multiple substances, and one was for the DUI of a person under the age of 21.
Rainwater added that the sheriff’s office has no plans stop the crackdown on impaired drivers just because holiday season is over.
“Yeah, we are going to continue the increased patrols at night, and we are gonna keep doing that until people get the picture about drinking and driving,” he said.
Rainwater said that the largest problem officials have with DUI outreach is that they have no good way to reach offenders and inform them how dangerous their actions are.
“The problem is that we have no good forum to reach these people. So we are trying to convince people that this is unacceptable and always has been … Unfortunately, this is a problem that we will probably always be fighting because we are dealing with people who don’t care and are only thinking of themselves,” he said.
Added Rainwater: “And, they are gambling every time.”