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County sees more DWI arrests this year

More people are being arrested for drunken driving this year in Washington County, the sheriff said.

There were 154 drunken-driving arrests by sheriff's deputies in the first half of this year. They are on pace to reach 250 by the end of 2010, Sheriff Bill Hutton told the County Board on Tuesday.

That is an increase over the 180 arrests in 2009 and is more than the recent high of 244 in 2007.

Hutton attributed the increase to a greater focus on patrolling for drunken driving and an increase in DWI-prevention law enforcement programs.

Deputies believe that they can make their greatest impact by "getting drunk drivers off the street," Hutton said.

Those DWI arrest totals do not include the drunken-driving stops made by police in cities throughout the county.

-Scott Wente