EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Drunk driving is on the rise in the Rio Grande Valley. In the first 11 days of this month, the Edinburg Police Department has made 15 arrests involving intoxicated drivers.
To combat this problem Edinburg Police Chief Jaime Ayala is thinking outside of the box. He is working on a notification system that would alert businesses that sell alcohol if a person arrested for DWI came from their business.
“If they let us know where they were drinking, we want to make sure that business knows we made an arrest for someone that says they were drinking at your location so that you have some notice that you need to probably step up your protocols,” Ayala said.
Edinburg Police is also the only law enforcement agency that enforces the no-refusal policy year-round.
“In Edinburg, if you don’t give us a breath specimen, we’re taking your blood, and that means that we’re going to prosecute you. And it’s going to have an extremely high rate of success,” Ayala said.
The chief said he is tired of seeing people break the law.
“We continue to see lives damaged, lives crushed, because of the decision that somebody made to drink, and drive,” he said.
J.J. Rodriguez is a counselor and the founder of A Vision for You Help Center. He helps people who have drinking problems and has seen an increase in patients.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook all day today, and I can’t answer everybody all everybody back. Forty-five percent of our clients that come in to see me do with the judicial system,” Rodriguez said.
He says more resources are needed for people struggling with alcohol.
“Well, there’s not a lot of resources, first of all, for people that need help. A lot of people think that they can take care of this problem on their own, and they’re wrong. Down here in the RGV, I just haven’t found a lot of resources that can help people deal with their drinking problems,” said Rodriguez.