Number of DWI Arrests Up This Holiday Weekend

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The number of people arrested over the July 4th holiday weekend for driving while intoxicated more than doubled this year compared to last year, according to the Brazos County Sheriff's Office.

"We put more emphasis on DWI driving because we know that this is the time of year for people to celebrate," said Kelley McKethan, Bryan Police Department.

The Sheriff's Office says eight people were booked into the Brazos County jail for driving while intoxicated over the Fourth of July weekend in 2012. Sheriff Kirk says that number more than doubled this year with 18 DWI arrests in Brazos County over the holiday weekend. Some suspects were repeat offenders, and at least one was involved in an accident before his arrest, according to probable cause statements.

"This year with it being on Thursday, people could have taken off Friday, which gave them an extended weekend," said McKethan.

The Texas Department of Transportation says Independence Day is one of the deadliest holidays in Texas because of alcohol-related wrecks. That's why many agencies, including the Bryan Police Department, have extra officers on the streets specifically looking for DWI offenders.

"Any DWI accident usually involves seriously bodily injury or can even lead up to death, so it's very important that we keep people off the streets that are impaired," said McKethan.

Suspected drunk drivers are required by law to give breath or blood samples to police during the holiday weekend, as part of Texas' "No Refusal" Initiative - that way DWI charges lead to convictions.