DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – While it was a busy holiday season for the DUI enforcement unit of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, the most significant number reported may be zero.

“We had no related fatalities involving any types of DWIs, which because of the enforcement of the officers out on the street and their high visibility, I think it greatly reduced the number of overall accidents that we had to contend with,” explained Sergeant Bryan Sherman.

The special enforcement unit made some 700 traffic stops between December 21 and January 1. That number reflects everyone pulled over – for any reason. “Not all of them resulted in citations or DWI investigations, but they were traffic stops, contact made by the officer with a vehicle traveling down the road,” Sherman said.

In all, sheriffs charged 31 people for driving drunk, with most of them receiving misdemeanor citations. Sherman believes the continual information on the dangers of drinking and driving; along with the low tolerance level of law enforcement for violators is making a difference. “I think the message that was provided by not only the TxDOT signs that there was going to be extra DWI officers out in the field for enforcement purposes, as well as information that MADD provides, I think that information got out to the public,” he said.

Of those arrested 25 face misdemeanor DWI charges and three face charges for DUI arrest. Two people face felony charges — the first for Driving While Intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, the other for being charged with a third DWI.

Funding to cover the cost for the dozens of extra sheriff’s deputies patrolling the highways was partially possible with funds from a recently awarded Texas Department of Transportation Impaired Driving Mobilization Grant.

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