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AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will increase DWI patrols from March 7 – March 22, which coincides with one of the busiest Spring Break periods in Texas. During this effort, DPS troopers will focus on DWI patrols in high-risk locations at times when alcohol-related crashes are most frequent and in areas with high concentrations of Spring Break activity.
“Drivers who disregard the law and choose to drive drunk not only put themselves and their passengers in harm’s way – they endanger everyone else on the road,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Taking impaired drivers off Texas roadways during Spring Break is a top priority for DPS. We urge the public to always drive sober and to obtain alternate transportation or designate a sober driver if they plan to drink alcohol.”
The enhanced patrols that target intoxicated drivers are funded by a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) grant. During last year’s Spring Break enforcement period, DPS troopers made 1,389 DWI arrests, and approximately 170 were the direct result of the increased patrols funded by the grant. DPS enforcement also resulted in more than 18,886 speeding citations, 3,343 seat belt/child safety seat tickets and about 23,600 other citations. In addition, troopers made 861 fugitive arrests and 728 felony arrests during this time period.
The drinking age in Texas is 21, and any driver under that age with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can be charged with breaking the law.
DPS offers the following tips for safe travel on Texas roadways during the Spring Break holiday:
- Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the usage of mobile devices.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
- Don’t drive fatigued, and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.
- Slow down or move over for tow trucks and police, fire, EMS and TxDOT vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law.