Tulsa County DA Sees Drop In Number Of DUI Cases
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa County District Attorney said the number of DUI cases coming into his office has dropped about 30 percent since 2015.
That year, Tulsa County prosecuted 2,843 DUI cases. It has steadily gone down each year to an expected 2,000 cases this year.
Stopping drunk drivers has been a big focus in Tulsa County, and the effort seems to be working. Experts believe one reason is juries and judges are fed up and are handing out big sentences.
Russell Moore, a man with no criminal history, just got sentenced to 15 years in prison for a drunk driving crash that killed John Hill in 2014.
Brenda Lambeth got five years after she killed Ross Shoemaker.
And, Marquita Littlebear had two kids in her car when she slammed into and killed school teacher Susan Mamary. It was Littlebear's second DUI and she's doing 40 years.
"I will assure you, if you're driving drunk and you kill another human being, the recommendation out of this office is, you're going to prison," Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said.
He believes services like Uber and Lyft are also a factor because it's easier and more affordable than ever for people to get a ride home rather than get behind the wheel.
“If that trend continues, that's great for all of us," Kunzweiler said.
He also credits the END DUI program with its educational programs as well as the many sobriety checkpoints that let people know this is a priority for law enforcement.
"We're going to hold you accountable and hold you accountable in such a way you'll regret you ever got behind the wheel, so be smart," Kunzweiler said.
The ABLE Commission said the number of people dying because of drunk drivers is also down from 108 fatal crashes from 2014--2014, to 88 in 2014-2018.