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How many drinking and driving incidences can be linked to downtown Wilmington each year?

Brian Freskos

Wilmington Police Department Officers respond to reports of a incident involving several people as the bars in downtown Wilmington shut down around 2 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011. StarNews phot by Mike Spencer.

There’s no way to know for sure. Some drunken drivers make it home without crashing or being caught. And there is no easy way to tell whether a driver that is arrested did their indulging downtown.

But thanks to Wilmington Police Department analyst Barry Coburn, we do have some idea of how many drinkers get behind the wheel in that section of the city.

Wilmington defines “downtown” as the area sandwiched between Fifth Avenue and the Cape Fear River, and the Isabel Holmes Bridge and Castle Street. In that area between Jan. 1, 2011, and May 15, 2013, police made 105 arrests for driving while intoxicated, mostly in the bar-heavy blocks around Market and Second and Front streets, according to Coburn’s analysis.

Broken down by the year, the numbers look this:

In 2011, 53 arrests.

In 2012, 37 arrests.

And between Jan. 1 and May 15 of 2013, 15 arrests.


Do drunken drivers use River Road to avoid law enforcement?

Do you have the legal right to follow someone who is obviously drunk?


User-contributed question by:
Nicholas Cooper

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