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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Officers receive recognition for DWI arrests

Officers receive recognition for DWI arrests

Pictured from left to right are Captain J.P. DeGravelles, Commander of the Patrol Division; Deputy Joseph Anderson; Sheriff Craig Webre; and Major Todd Diaz, Head of the Criminal Department.

Sheriff Craig Webre announced for the fifth straight year, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office has been recognized by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission for outstanding efforts in DWI enforcement. Deputy Joseph Anderson has also received recognition for his individual efforts in keeping impaired drivers off the roads and highways around Lafourche Parish.

The LPSO Patrol Division was recognized at the commission’s annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 5 in Baton Rouge. Patrol deputies made 407 DWI arrests in Lafourche Parish in 2012, the highest number of arrests for any Sheriff’s Office in a parish with a population of 50,000 to 99,000, and nearly 40% more than the previous year. Deputy Anderson, alone, made 55 DWI arrests in 2012.

In conjunction with his recognition Tuesday, Deputy Anderson will also receive the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Blue Max Award given annually to the deputy making the most DWI arrests.

“It is no secret that DWI enforcement remains a huge priority for our agency,” said Sheriff Webre. “With our arrest numbers, our full-time adoption of the “no refusal” policy, and the checkpoints and saturated DWI patrols conducted year-round, we believe we are sending a clear message to the public that if you drive drunk, we will find you and you will be arrested.”

Louisiana traffic deaths peaked in 2007 with 993 fatalities. After 2007, Louisiana experienced four consecutive years of declines in crash deaths until 2011 when 676 people lost their lives – a decline of about one-third, or 317 fewer fatalities.

 “The number of people killed in crashes in Louisiana went down considerably between 2007 and 2011," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso, who is also chairman of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. "We've also experienced a decline in the percentage of alcohol-related crash deaths. The men and women honored here today played an important role in helping make our roads safer."

Tuesday’s awards ceremony marked the fifth year the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has honored officers and others for their commitment to keeping impaired drivers off the roads, and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office has been recognized each year.

Driving while intoxicated is a serious problem in Louisiana and across the nation. Authorities across Louisiana made almost 30,000 DWI arrests in 2011, the most recent year for which complete data is available. Of the 676 people killed in Louisiana crashes that year, 41 percent were involved in alcohol- related incidents. Of those numbers, 16 of those were killed in Lafourche Parish, with 7 being alcohol- related.