Bryan – With throngs of Texas motorists expected on Texas roadways this Labor Day to enjoy the last holiday weekend of the summer season, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced today that state troopers and local law enforcement will be stepping up enforcement of the state’s DWI laws between August 17 and September 3.
“Our Drink. Drive. Go to Jail. Campaign is about saving lives and preventing injuries,” said Carlos Lopez, TxDOT’s director of traffic operations. “This year, we’ve more than doubled the number of troopers and officers who’ll be out in full force looking for impaired drivers. The best way to avoid an arrest is not to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.”
Texas continues to lead the nation in alcohol-related traffic fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that impaired driving is a contributing factor in almost half of all Texas fatal traffic crashes.
Convicted first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver’s license for as long as a year, and serve 180 days in jail. Safety officials say other costs associated with a drunk driving arrest and conviction can add up to more than $10,000 for bail, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes and vehicle insurance increases and other expenses.
TxDOT’s advice for drivers for the upcoming holiday weekend? If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Make plans in advance about how to get home safely. Designate a sober driver, call a cab or someone you trust to pick you up, or stay where you are until you are able to drive.