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DUI arrests are down, but MADD not satisifed with new stats

Reported by: Kelsey Thomas
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Updated: 8/14 6:05 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Thousands of drivers in Las Vegas are arrested for drunk driving every year. 

The numbers are lower so far this year, not just on DUIs, but alcohol-related deaths too.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says it's a good start, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

The good news is DUI arrests have declined more than 20 percent compared to last year. After all, this is a city of non-stop partying and 24-hour drinking. "At any given time here, you could have as many as 5,000 impaired drivers on the metro roads," said Kathleen Bienenstein with MADD.

Metro police stopped responding to fender-benders in March. There is a concern that impaired drivers may get away under this restructuring. "The average person may not know how to spot an impaired driver. We're seeing more and more with the medication, as opposed to alcohol these days," Bienenstein said.

Larry Hadfield with Metro says if you get in an accident with no injuries, you're on your own, but Metro officers are required to respond to alcohol-related crashes.

"If you are involved in a car crash, whether it's in a department store parking lot with extremely minor damage, or a kind of a significant crash in the streets that does not require any medical assistance, and you believe that person is intoxicated, you are to call the police as you always did before," Hadfield said.

Officers have made 2,900 DUI arrests in 2014 so far; that's compared to 3,700 at the same time last year.

Bienenstein won’t be satisfied until no one suffers the loss of a loved one in a preventable crash. This is a message she often drills into DUI offenders.

"I ask them, how many of them, would walk down the street in their neighborhood firing a weapon randomly? And they all look at me like I've lost my mind, and I say I’m serious: How many of you would do that? And nobody raises their hand," Bienenstein said. "I say that's the exact same thing you're doing when you driving impaired."

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