Liquor stores across North Texas may owe their local police departments a round of drinks or, at the very least, a thank you.
Alcohol sales normally skyrocket in the days before folks toast the New Year. But sales this year may spike even higher because so many police departments are conducting no-refusal weekends.
During no-refusal periods, special patrols are out on interstates and major streets. The task forces include judges that can immediately authorize the suspension of licenses and force blood testing on drivers who refuse sobriety testing.
Liquor store managers say fear of the patrols is part of what is driving sales.
Managers at Specs in Dallas said 50 percent of their customers are purchasing alcohol for parties they're planning to have at home. Many are professional people who want to toast in the New Year with a few drinks without the risk of an encounter with a no-refusal patrol, they said.
Liquor stores will not have any special hours but expect crowds through closing on Saturday. They also expect sales to pick up again Monday because of last-minute shoppers.