Posted: Jan 19, 2011 7:11 AM by Jenise Fernandez
Updated: Jan 19, 2011 7:22 AM
Lafayette Police say the number of drunk drivers is up, but the reason may not be as obvious.
"It's very alarming to see the number of impaired drivers in Lafayette," said Rikki Manahan, Coordinator of the Knowledge Effect.
Last year, Lafayette Police arrested 830 people accused of drunk driving, an increase of almost 300 since 2009.
"It's an alcohol prone community. Alcohol is a big part of festivities and the things that everyone down here does. It's part of the culture," said Manahan.
Manahan says the reason for the increase isn't necessarily because there are more drunk drivers. The Lafayette Police Department now has more officers on the road looking for impaired drivers.
The Knowledge Effect works with the police department to raise awareness of the dangers involved with drinking and driving.
With Mardi Gras attracting a lot of drinking and driving, the Knowledge Effect will be hosting a family-friendly Mardi Gras.
"It's from 9 to 4 and it's all day at Park Putnam, which is right across the street from the federal courthouse. It's right on the parade route," said Manahan.