DWI arrests up in Calcasieu - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DWI arrests up in Calcasieu

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In 2009 local law enforcement took 1,680 impaired drivers off the road. That's compared to roughly 1,520 the year before.

"I don't think we had hat many more people who were driving impaired on alcohol or drugs, we are catching a lot more of them and that's what has happened over the last few years," said Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier.  

DeRosier credits increased check points and dash cam video to arming prosecutors with more proof in court. Officers are also enforcing the no-refusal policy, where drivers who are clearly intoxicated must submit to a blood test. With the evidence in hand most plead guilty. Currently there are 11-hundred DWI cases pending in Calcasieu.

"We are prepared to try each and every one of those cases if we have to," said DeRosier.

DeRosier is also focusing his efforts on amending the statute for the minimum jail time third and fourth time offenders would have to serve if convicted.

"It is a problem nationwide and it's not going away. It's something we have to deal with in terms of getting the impaired drivers off the highways. There are numerous ways to do that and will explore any possibility that helps us get more off the roads," said DeRosier.

The parish is also aggressively attacking underage drinking. "It's a big problem and it's under reported," said Katherine Vincent, Program Director with the Calcasieu Office of Juvenile Justice Services.  

Vincent says a statewide survey of students identified Calcasieu among the top ten parishes for high rates of underage drinking.

"It takes money it takes personnel, it takes equipment to be able to address it and we now have that," said Vincent.

The Governor's Office awarded Calcasieu a 1.3-million dollar grant for education programs, increased compliance and DWI checkpoints and party patrols to target underage drinkers.

"Party patrol addresses social hosting, when there are house parties where juveniles are being served alcohol. Neighbors or somebody driving by can contact law enforcement to go out to that house and investigate," said Vincent.  

The 18-month program covers every municipality in the parish.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Police on 3rd Street Thursday morning searching for suspect

    Police on 3rd Street Thursday morning searching for suspect

    Thursday, May 24 2018 11:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 15:32:46 GMT
    Authorities search for a suspect on 3rd Street, near La. 14, Thursday morning. (Source: Johnathan Manning / KPLC)Authorities search for a suspect on 3rd Street, near La. 14, Thursday morning. (Source: Johnathan Manning / KPLC)
    Authorities search for a suspect on 3rd Street, near La. 14, Thursday morning. (Source: Johnathan Manning / KPLC)Authorities search for a suspect on 3rd Street, near La. 14, Thursday morning. (Source: Johnathan Manning / KPLC)
    A large police presence was on Third Street, near La. 14, Thursday morning after receiving a call of a possible kidnapping, said Lt. Richard Harrell, with the Lake Charles Police Department. The person who was the target of the alleged kidnapping is an adult an is in police care, Harrell said. Harrell said Lake Charles police and members of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office searched for the suspect, but were unable to locate the person. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
    A large police presence was on Third Street, near La. 14, Thursday morning after receiving a call of a possible kidnapping, said Lt. Richard Harrell, with the Lake Charles Police Department. The person who was the target of the alleged kidnapping is an adult an is in police care, Harrell said. Harrell said Lake Charles police and members of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office searched for the suspect, but were unable to locate the person. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Calcasieu inmates walk away from work detail, recaptured

    Calcasieu inmates walk away from work detail, recaptured

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:12 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:12:08 GMT
    (Source: CPSO)(Source: CPSO)
    (Source: CPSO)(Source: CPSO)

    Two Calcasieu Parish inmates face additional charges after walking away from a work detail in South Lake Charles.  31-year-old Whitney Smith and 34-year-old Melinda Hassan were working on a trustee trash crew in the area of Tank Farm and Ling roads Wednesday when they walked away from the detail. CPSO Commander, James McGee says one inmate was located within 15 minutes and the other was taken into custody within an hour. Smith, is behind bars on burglary and theft re...

    More >>

    Two Calcasieu Parish inmates face additional charges after walking away from a work detail in South Lake Charles.  31-year-old Whitney Smith and 34-year-old Melinda Hassan were working on a trustee trash crew in the area of Tank Farm and Ling roads Wednesday when they walked away from the detail. CPSO Commander, James McGee says one inmate was located within 15 minutes and the other was taken into custody within an hour. Smith, is behind bars on burglary and theft re...

    More >>
  • Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Thursday, May 24 2018 8:54 AM EDT2018-05-24 12:54:16 GMT
    5 day tropical develop chances near 100%5 day tropical develop chances near 100%

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in the Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located near the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a near 0% chance of development over the next couple of days

    More >>

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in the Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located near the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a near 0% chance of development over the next couple of days

    More >>
Powered by Frankly