Council meeting in Galveston discusses DWI enforcements after string of crashes in area

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Friday, September 16, 2022
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Galveston looks at DWI-prevention options after 6 killed in recent weeks

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Galveston council members held a meeting on Thursday to discuss and explore methods to improve DWI enforcement after a string of deadly crashes in the area.

The meeting was attended by Galveston Police Chief Doug Balli, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown, Councilman Micheal Bovier, and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission members.

Chief Balli discussed the need for more law enforcement to watch for reckless driving strictly. "Over the last 27 days, we've made 73 arrests for impaired driving," Balli said.

Mayor Brown said in the meeting that the city is putting a lot of emphasis on DWI enforcement to ensure that intersections stay safe.

Brown also said they want individuals to come to the island to have fun and be safe. "We'd like to have individuals come down and enjoy themselves, but this has to be in a safe environment here, and we're going to enforce our traffic laws even more so than we have," he said.

The meeting was catalyzed after multiple crashes in the area killed six people recently.

SEE ALSO: Galveston meeting to be held to discuss golf cart ordinance and DWI prevention after deadly crash

On Aug. 14, one person driving a Moped was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver.

On Aug. 6, four members of the Rosenburg family were killed while riding in a golf cart that crashed into a driver operating an SUV, who police believe was intoxicated at the time.

On Sept. 2, 14-year-old Mason Nelson was killed while coming home from a volleyball game with friends when suspected drunk driver, Keith Brazier, broadsided the Jeep in front of Ball High School.

Police have said that in each of these crashes, the drivers ran stop signs and were speeding.

WATCH: 'Drunk driving has to stop' Family calls for change after losing loved ones in gold cart crash

Councilman Bouvier said in the meeting that the crash could've been prevented had the parole board followed through and kept Brazier in prison. Brazier was paroled hours before the collision after records showed that he was serving a three-year sentence for intoxicated driving. He has since been charged again, this time for murder.

Bouvier mentioned that they are dealing with much more regarding DWI and DUI arrests. "Maybe time in prison is not the only thing that needs to happen. I think we are dealing with alcoholism, and we need to treat the disease and not just put a person away to cope with it by themselves."

Bouvier talked about educating students on the results of drunk driving. He spoke of an exercise and simulation of a car crash at The University of Texas Medical Branch.

Attorney James Amaro, who represented the victims of the golf cart crash, also attended the meeting. He proposed the concept of EV lanes to protect those driving golf carts without restricting them. "It's not the people in golf carts' fault that people decide to drink and drive," Amaro said.

Galveston Police had already implemented a more aggressive traffic enforcement program aimed at catching drunk drivers when two fatal crashes resulted in five deaths just a week apart in Galveston.

Between Feb. 23, 2019 and Aug. 14, 2022, 13 fatal crashes involved intoxicated drivers on the island, according to Galveston police data.