By the numbers

Posted on 20 Aug 2009 at 4:46pm
Protesters gather outside the Rainbow Lounge the afternoon following a June 28 raid on the gay bar that made headlines around the country. Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead said the bar is one of only nine locations licensed to sell alcohol in the area known as The Hemphill Corridor, which had an average of 54.77 arrests per licensed premise in the 18 months between January 2008 and June 2009.

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead presented the following report in explaining why The Rainbow Lounge, The Rosedale Saloon and The Cowboy Palace were chosen for bar checks on the night of June 27:

Statistics for public intoxication arrests for January 2008 through June 2009 for three distinct areas illustrate challenges surrounding establishments that serve alcohol.

• In the Fort Worth Stockyards area there were a total of 755 arrests for public intoxication. This is an average of 17.97 arrests per licensed premises with 42 establishments in the area.

• In the Downtown Central Business District there were a total of 2,051 public intoxication arrests. This is an average of 48.83 arrests per licensed premises, also with 42 establishments in the area.

• In the Hemphill Corridor, which includes the Rainbow Lounge, there were a total of 493 public intoxication arrests. This is an average of 54.77 arrests per licensed premises with nine establishments in the area.

• The statistical information indicates the Hemphill Corridor shows a significantly higher number of arrests (493) in an area with fewer establishments (9).

• Of the 3,300 public intoxication arrests the police department believes that a number of those arrests prevented drunk driving and DWI-related deaths.

• Public intoxication arrests, along with DWI and traffic enforcement, contributed to a 29 percent reduction in traffic deaths in Fort Worth from January 2008 to June 2009.

• In 2008 more than 32 percent of traffic fatalities involved intoxication.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 21, 2009.

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