Sheriff’s statistical report reveals decrease in DWI arrests


It would be hard to say anything good about the COVID-19 pandemic except that it probably accounts for the dramatic decrease in the number of DWI arrests in Natchitoches Parish during 2020.

According to the year-end statistics report released by Sheriff Stuart Wright and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’ s Office, the number of DWI arrests in 2020 was 82 compared to 228 in 2019.

“It had to be because of COVID-19,” Wright says. “The bars and restaurants all shut down and most DWIs occur between 1-3 a.m.” During 2020, his office answered a total of 35,000 calls compared to 28,750 the previous year.

There were 1,201 arrests last year compared to 1,544 the year before.

Traffic accidents were up in 2020 with 1,837 and eight fatalities.

In 2019 there were 1,324 accidents with nine fatalities.

Also declining in 2020 was the number of traffic tickets, 4,241, compared to 4,725 in 2019.

There was one homicide investigated in 2020 and four in 2019.

There were 165 drug arrests last year, one less than in 2019.

In weekend print edition Feb. 6-7, 2021