2001 drug haul by troopers second best all-time

Drug seizures by DPS troopers increased dramatically last year compared to 2000-and the dollar value of the contraband seized in 2001 makes it the second most prolific year for traffic drug enforcement in DPS history.

According to 2001 statistics released today by the Traffic Law Enforcement Division, DPS troopers intercepted illegal drugs valued at $169.4 million while on normal patrol duty.

The totals represent a 39 percent increase from the year before, when $122.3 million in controlled substances were taken out of circylation. (the 20012001 figure is second only to the 1994 total of $196 million.)

Most of the increase came from cocaine busts, which totaled 2,818 pounds, up more than 1,000 pounds from the year before (1,682).

Troopers also seized nearly 33 tons (65,975 pounds) of marijuana. Both totals are the second highest in DPS history. Texas troopers have led the nation in highway drug seizures the last several years.
DWI arrests by DPS also increased in 2001. Troopers arrested 32,826 drunk drivers, compared with 30,891 the year before.

Troopers handed out 542,955 speeding citations, wrote 149,184 safety restraint tickets and provided roadside assistance to almost 52,000 motorists.

In addition, DPS troopers arrested nearly 20,000 people for a variety of non-drug criminal violations, ranging from homicide to auto theft.

“Besides slowing motorists down and getting drunk drivers off the road, routine traffic enforcement helps put drug couriers, murderers, rapists and other criminals behind bars,” said DPS Director Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr.

“One way or another, everyday traffic stops by DPS troopers make Texas roads and neighborhoods that much safer.”