The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is calling drunk driving an epidemic.
“We see every day the catastrophic events that a DUI leaves behind - broken families, broken homes, broken bodies,” explained OHP Lt. Betsy Randolph.
Every 32 minutes, someone in this country dies due to drunk driving and every 90 seconds, someone gets injured by a drunk driver.
“The thing that's so disappointing about it, is drunk driving is 100% preventable,” said Randolph.
In fact, losing her uncle to a drunk driver is the reason Lt. Randolph got into law enforcement.
“If you're like me and you've ever lost somebody you cared about to a drunk driver, you'll know what I'm talking about when I say, there is absolutely no excuse for it,” Randolph told News 9.
In 2013, OHP worked 3,824 alcohol-related crashes in the state, resulting in 189 people killed. More than 2,500 were injured in those crashes, some with incapacitating injuries.
OHP said their DUI checkpoints throughout the year help the cause, either because they are catching drunk drivers or scaring other people enough that they plan for a designated driver.
If there is any type of legislation that would be proposed that would increase the fines and punishment for drunk driving, OHP says it would be behind it 100%.
“We know the only way to get somebody's attention is to cause them to lose their money or to lose some time, both of which are extremely valuable,” said Randolph.
News 9 also checked with Oklahoma City Police for drunk driving statistics. In 2013, police made 2,558 arrests for drunk driving. So far this year, OCPD has arrested 1,662 people on drunk driving complaints.