AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “If you know you’re going to drink, you don’t need to drive!”, said Sgt. Carla Burr, Public Information Officer for the Amarillo Police Department.

Those are straight and to the point words from APD as summer kicks off in the city.

“We have all kinds of services in this community that can give you a ride, and you can call a friend. Wrecker services will come and pick you up and tow your car,” she said.

In 2020, 17 people were killed in Amarillo in alcohol-related crashes.

In 2021, there were 263 alcohol-related crashes, almost one per day, with 13 people dying as a result.

What is it like for officers who have to tell a parent or a loved one that their loved one isn’t coming home because they’ve been killed by a drunk driver?

“It makes me nauseous. It is the worst thing. Anytime you have to tell someone their loved one has died it’s terrible. But, especially when it’s the innocent victims,” Sgt. Burr said emphatically.

Even with the slight dip in deaths, she says any death is too many.

“The people that go out and drive after they’ve been drinking, it’s killing people and it’s irresponsible and it needs to stop,” she said sternly.

Sgt. Burr told us that the most frustrating part of dealing with alcohol-related offenses is that they’re 100 percent preventable.