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Gilford police report large jump in DWI arrests in town


GILFORD - Police are reporting a huge jump in DWI arrests in 2012, which they are attributing to better training of police officers, but also to what appears to be a trend of more drunken drivers on the road.

"When you look at the totality of the causes, the economy seems to be better and there seem to be more people out on the roads drinking," said Sgt. Eric Bredbury, the town's prosecuting officer.

"We're seeing some higher blood-alcohol contents too," he said.

Last year, town police arrested 75 people for driving while intoxicated. In 2011, police arrested 47 for DWI. Previous years had lesser numbers of DWI arrests, Bredbury said.

Of the 75 arrests, only two contested their arrests, he said.

"The vast majority of those arrested pled out," he said. "That's a victory as well."

Increased training at the state level and the addition of DWI testing machine training has helped, he said.

In addition, the department has made more requests for DWI patrol grants from the Department of Safety for this year and next.

Such grants pay for special DWI patrols.

Bredbury said he and Police Chief Kevin Keenan worked with young officers on training for DWI detections and arrests.

The department is pleased that the training seems to be working.

"We're proud of our success in this," Bredbury said. "We've been very busy, obviously."

dseufert@newstote.com

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