McALLEN, TX –The McALLEN POLICE DEPARTMENT is joining forces with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the National Transportation Highway Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement agencies across Texas to remind motorists about the consequences of drinking and driving by stepping up efforts to arrest drunk drivers during the weeks prior to Labor Day.
This increased enforcement is part of a national effort by NHTSA and coordinates with TxDOT’s “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.” campaign, which runs from August 15 through Labor Day (September 1). Many police departments around the state also are conducting “No Refusal” programs as part of their Labor Day crackdown. These programs require suspected drunk drivers to submit to a blood test to measure their alcohol levels.
Over Labor Day weekend in 2013, Texas had 392 alcohol-related traffic crashes that resulted in 16 fatalities and 169 serious injuries. Almost half (45.7 percent) of the state’s traffic fatalities during that three-day period were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol.
“We want to remind people that driving while intoxicated on Texas roads will not be tolerated.” “We want everyone to be able to enjoy a safe holiday weekend. If you choose to drink, then do not drive. Find another way home, or your local police will find you a ride to jail.”
Drivers have many alternatives to driving while intoxicated. They can call a cab, ask a friend or a family member for a ride, hand their keys to a designated driver or simply stay put until they sober up. They also can take advantage of TxDOT’s website SoberRides.org, which lists ride options in areas throughout Texas.
Texas considers DWI a serious crime – and one that is 100 percent preventable. Convicted first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver license for up to a year and serve as much as 180 days in jail. Safety officials say other consequences associated with a drunk driving arrest and conviction can add up to as much as $17,000 or more for bail, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes, vehicle insurance increases and other expenses.
Partners in the “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.” campaign include the NHTSA, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other local law enforcement agencies around Texas.
Information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from Texas Peace Officer's Crash Reports (CR-3) received and processed by the Department as of July 10, 2014.