Area law enforcement agencies plan heavy patrol during Labor Day weekend
Aug. 24, 2012 at 3:24 a.m.
Updated Aug. 25, 2012 at 3:25 a.m.
How to stay safe
Arrange for a designated driver before drinking
Call a taxi if you don't have a designated driver
In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1
Drive the speed limit
The costs of drinking and driving
Convicted drunken drivers could spend up to $17,000 for bail, fines, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes, insurance increases and other expenses.
Source: TxDOT news release
Get home safe
For help finding a safe ride or for information on the penalties for drinking and driving, visit texasdwi.org.
With Texas leading the nation in the number of alcohol-related crashes, the Department of Public Safety is beefing up patrol for the coming holiday weekend.
Seven people died in alcohol-related crashes last year during the Labor Day holiday in Texas, according to a Texas Department of Transportation news release.
To get this number down, the DPS will have zero tolerance for drunk driving, said Trooper Gerald Bryant.
"All our troopers are re-arranged so that all troopers will be working, no one be scheduled off," Bryant said of the weekend. "In addition to working our regular shift, we will work overtime each day during the holiday."
Victoria and surrounding counties did not have any fatal crashes during the 2011 Labor Day weekend, and Bryant said they want to keep it that way.
The Victoria Police Department and Victoria County Sheriff's Office are joining DPS over the weekend to keep drivers safe.
"The officers that are out there will be extra vigilant," said Roy Boyd, police department assistant chief.
The three agencies, along with the Victoria County District Attorney's office, were at a TxDOT-sponsored event at the University of Houston-Victoria on Thursday to spread awareness about drinking and driving and the transportation agency's "Drink. Drive. Go to Jail" campaign.
"It was a message and a warning to drivers out there to be responsible, not to take risks and to be safe for everyone's sake," said sheriff's office Capt. Abel Arriazola.
DPS Operation Holiday begins Aug. 31 and will continue through midnight Sept. 3.