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Old 11-19-2007, 10:22 AM  
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San Marcos, we have a problem

From the Daily Record.

http://www.sanmarcosrecord.com/local...322002635.html

Truck slams into house

From staff reports

San Marcos ? A 22-year-old man was jailed for driving while intoxicated early Saturday after his pickup truck left Holland Street and slammed into a home at Holland and Owens.

Neither the driver or any of the six people in the home were injured. A child that normally sleeps in the room the truck plowed into was spending the night at a friend?s house.

San Marcos Police Sgt. said Matthew Ashley was taken into custody at the scene for drunk driving and medically cleared at Central Texas Medical Center before being transported to jail.

Police believe Ashley was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash, which crushed the vehicle almost to the firewall and resulted in structural damage to the house.

?The house shifted on its foundation. There was major structural damage,? Waugh said.

Resident Heather Brewer said the 3:30 a.m. crash also knocked out the home?s electricity and water, forcing herself and the others to spend the remainder of the night in a hotel.

Waugh said Ashley was released from jail later Saturday. He said prior to the crash, Ashley had been traveling on Academy Street at a high rate of speed and on the wrong side of the road.

Waugh would not speculate on how fast the pickup was going. ?Fast enough to cause that much damage,? he said.
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:32 AM  
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There is a significant problem in this town with drunk driving, which (IMO, as eljefe also mentioned) fuels less frightening, but still significant, issues of speeding, loud music blaring from vehicles at 3 in the morning and trash (usually beer cans and fast food wrappers) strewn all over the side of the road.

Mailboxes, for sale signs and boulders are one thing (not a good thing, either), but running off the road into a house is really ****ed up.

Traffic enforcement from SMPD has been nearly non-existent for a long time and UPD does even less. When is someone going to take notice and more importantly, take some action?
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:01 PM  
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It would be interesting (not in a good way) to see a list of the carnage. It is sad that the same day this happened, I was complaining about drunks and talking about the possibility of one plowing into a house.

So, within recent memory, that makes:

2 stone mailboxes on Camaro
1 stone wall on Holland
2 incidents of hitting the boulders on Holland @ LBJ
1 for sale sign on Camaro
1 front yard on Camaro
1 front yard on Tanglewood
1 House on Holland
2 parked cars on Chestnut
1 sign by Kau's place, which I seem to recall being posted once before
1 front yard at Holland and Schulle
God only knows how many times at the stop sign at LBJ and Tanglewood

I know there have been numerous incidents in Spring Lake Hills as well. If memory serves, part of the challenge is that often times you can't get the police out to take a report, so there is no clear picture of how bad the situation is.

I'm sure there are more out there. I'm betting there will be even more neighborhoods on the City Council's case pretty soon. The next couple of meetings should be very interesting.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:03 PM  
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I should also point out what a horrible shame it is, after all the work they have done on that house. I wonder how many potential home buyers will be turned off to San Marcos after that.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:32 PM  
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Agreed!

Semi,

I agree whole-heartedly on the drunk driving issue. eljefe and I live near the area where the incident occurred and I happened to drive by it yesterday. It is scary to think what could have happened should that child have been home. Often, we choose to stay home on weekend nights to avoid all the idiot drunk drivers.

Here's a bit of irony for you...not only do the police appear to ignore the drunk driving, in some ways, they actually encourage it. I, personally, have been at small, quiet gatherings with friends in neighborhoods not known for college partying. These gatherings consisted of graduate students and young, non-student adults in their mid-late 20's to 30's. Police have arrived and "busted the party" having seen the vehicles parked outside. Despite there being no laws broken and the people inside being of age and considerate of neighbors, they requested that the attendees go home immediately claiming a noise complaint from neighbors who happened to be out of town that weekend (obviously the hosts pointed this out in court and charges were dropped). What disturbed me most was that the police officers made no mention of contacting sober drivers, calling cabs, etc. They wanted to insist that we all get in our cars immediately and go home. We, being responsible adults, refused and insisted on waiting for our designated drivers to arrive. The whole incident left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

In the city I went to college in, if the police "busted a party" they aided us in getting rides from sober friends, taxis, etc., or even offered rides in some situations. In general, they simply told the party attendees that things needed to wind down and they didn't care whether people crashed on the floor or found a safe way home, but that they had recorded all of the license tags outside the house and didn't want to see those cars moved until the morning. Now, whether they actually checked all that...I doubt it, but it sure made people think twice about driving while intoxicated. Additionally, they never would have made up an excuse to come to a house they suspected of having a party without laws or ordinances being broken or without valid complaints from neighbors.
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Old 11-19-2007, 01:25 PM  
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I am going to say something here, which I think will lead most of you to certain conclusions; it led me to those conclusions when I heard it. It is possible that they are the wrong conclusions, so I am not going to post my conclusions; just the statement I have heard.

I have been told (by the police) that the police do not like to make DWI arrests, because they are very time-consuming. I believe the number I was told was 4 hours per arrest.

Now, I don't like making my commute every day, but I do, so maybe the statement was nothing more than the same complaining you or I do about things we have to do, but would rather not.

Still, I have to wonder.

The police blotter will be online tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how many DWI arrests there were and how many people were arrested *before* they drove into someone's house.

Last weekend, there were two DWI arrests. The weekend before, there were also two DWI arrests.

Maybe that's a reasonable number for this town. It seems awfully low to me.
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:11 PM  
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I took a defensive driving class at ablast a couple of weeks ago for a speeding ticket I got in West Texas (Big Lake to be exact) and the guy in there told us that San Marcos, Texas has the lowest number of DUI arrests in the State. Why is that? Cause we all know its happening !
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:25 PM  
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Well, we know the police are not handing out noise violation/pollution/fire code violation tickets in Sagewood (I used to live there and semi is still enjoying those extravaganzas) and they're not handing out DUI's. So what the hell are they doing? Could we find out the exact activities of on-duty units on weekends? Surely there's some time in there to pull over a few drunk drivers.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:59 PM  
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Good question, but I do not have the answer. It appears, from the Hays County Arrest Report that there were 17 DWI arrests in Hays County over the past 2 weeks and 3 of them were made by SMPD.

11 were made by DPS, 2 were made by Hays County Sheriff's office and one by UPD.

For all offenses, SMPD had 53 arrests over the same period, while UPD made 14, Hays County made 63 and DPS made 19.

It is interesting to me that UPD's activity is so low overall, despite having jurisdiction just about everywhere in town and it is also interesting to me that 27% of the arrests by the Hays County Sheriff's Office were for DWI, while only 6% of SMPD arrests were for DWI.

Perhaps they have a REAL problem with drunk drivers in Wimberley!

Apparently, they are not hindered by the 4-hour processing time at the Sheriff's office. I'd be curious to know how many patrol officers each department has.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:31 PM  
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SMPD arrests (4 DWI arrests. My bad):

11/12 - Deadly conduct
11/12 - Public Intoxication
11/12 - Theft
11/12 - Theft
11/12 - Public Intoxication
11/12 - Burglary
11/13 - Public Intoxication
11/13 - Theft
11/13 - Public Intoxication
11/13 - Assault
11/13 - False Alarm Report
11/13 - Theft and Possession of Marijuana
11/13 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/14 - Public Intoxication
11/14 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/14 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/14 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/14 - Possession of Marijuana
11/14 - Possession of Marijuana
11/15 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/15 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/15 - Public Intoxication
11/15 - Forgery
11/16 - Noise Ordinance, Alcohol Ordinance, Interfering with an Officer
11/16 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/16 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/16 - Possession of Marijuana
11/16 - Possession of Marijuana
11/16 - DWI
11/16 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/16 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/16 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/16 - Public Intoxication
11/16 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/16 - Failure to ID
11/17 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/17 - Public Intoxication
11/17 - Possession of Marijuana
11/17 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/17 - DWI
11/17 - Theft
11/17 - Public Intoxication/Disorderly Conduct
11/17 - Public Intoxication/Criminal Mischief
11/17 - DWI (crashed into house)
11/17 - DUI (presence of alcohol, under 21, but probably no sobriety test)
11/17 - Public Intoxication
11/17 - Theft
11/18 - Accident Involving Damage
11/18 - Failure to Appear in Court
11/18 - Public Intoxication
11/18 - Duty Upon Striking Unattended Vehicle
11/18 - Assault
11/18 - Sexual Assault
11/19 - DWI
11/19 - Failure to Appear in Court

They seem to spend a lot of time on FTA warrants. That could mean that they are catching them during traffic stops, although I suspect not, as I don't know of a whole lot of traffic patrolling and traffic patrol would almost certainly mean an increase in DWI arrests.
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