FROM STAFF REPORTS
It’s the holidays, but law enforcement isn’t taking any time off. On the contrary, they’ll be stepping up efforts to curb drunken driving and other behavior that puts people at risk.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is focusing traffic patrols both holiday weekends — Dec. 23-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1 — looking for drunken drivers, speeders, seat belt violators, and other dangerous drivers. The DPS and local law enforcement agencies are urging people to follow traffic laws and drive sober during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
“The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, and it’s up to each and every Texan to be responsible behind the wheel so that everyone makes it home safely to their family during the holidays,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Along with other law enforcement partners across the state, DPS will be out in force to identify and remove dangerous drivers from Texas roadways this holiday season.”
During last year’s Christmas and New Year’s effort, DPS troopers issued more than 86,000 citations and warnings for a variety of violations, including speeding, no insurance, and seatbelt/child safety usage issues. The DPS efforts alone resulted in 400 DWI arrests, 359 fugitive arrests, and 277 felony arrests.
And that’s just the DPS.
During the same period last year, Highland Lakes law enforcement officers — not including DPS troopers — made more than 21 driving-related arrests, which included DWIs, speeding, driving without a valid license, and similar charges. This doesn’t reflect the number of speeding or traffic citations they gave out on last year’s Christmas and New Year’s days.
Officials are also reminding drivers that they must help protect people working on the side of the road by following the “move over and slow down” law for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles, and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road.
It’s also important to observe traffic speeds and rules in work zones.
The DPS added that it’s always a good idea so show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped on the side of the road.