EAST VILLAGE — Drunk-driving is plaguing the East Village with the number of arrests almost tripling last year, DNAinfo's groundbreaking Crime & Safety study found.
The shocking statistics showed the neighborhood's 9th Precinct arrested a huge 141.4 percent more suspected drunk drivers in 2010 compared to the year before. That's 140 incidents compared to 58.
The increase was even more eye-popping when compared to previous years. Since 2008, arrest numbers went up 204.3 percent. Since 2001, the rise has been an amazing 600 percent.
That surge comes as the rest of the city saw DWI arrests decline by 7.4 percent since 2009, and 11.5 percent since 2008.
Some familiar with the East Village's situation cited ramped-up police efforts and the ever-increasing amount of nightlife establishments as reasons for the massive spike.
"To me it shows enforcement," said Community Board 3 district manager Susan Stetzer, who works closely with the police precinct.
"These are very scary statistics because this is no longer quality of life — this is life and death."
The Lower East Side's 7th Precinct — which covers an area with a similarly vibrant nightlife — saw an 86.4 percent jump in DWIs (151 incidents in 2010 compared to 81 in 2009), as well as a 357.6-percent increase since 2001.
In the 5th Precinct — which covers Chinatown and parts of the Lower East Side, Little Italy and SoHo — DWI arrests went up approximately 16 percent in 2010, but soared almost 178 percent since 2001.
Stetzer said that while she doesn't generally receive complaints about drunk driving, it wouldn't surprise her to find that some of the neighborhood's intoxicated bar-goers are heading home behind the wheel.
"I have known of accidents around that 3 or 4 o'clock time on weekends," she said.
"It is very sobering."