In what has become an annual holiday tradition of sorts, area police departments are announcing plans to ramp up DWI enforcement through the new year with hopes of convincing revelers to ride-share or take a cab.
In Dallas, police said they will conduct No-Refusal stops where officers will secure a search warrant for blood samples for drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated who have refused to give a breath or blood sample.
In Garland, officers in both marked and unmarked cars will conduct increased DWI patrols beginning Friday, Dec. 21 through Jan. 5, 2019. As in Dallas, if drivers suspected of drunken driving refuse to provide a breath or blood sample, a warrant will be secured to take one.
"The increased DWI patrols are for an IDM (Impaired Driver Mobilization) project funded through TxDOT and targets DWI along with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) by Minors," Garland said.
Garland police warn that first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver's license for up to a year, and serve 180 days in jail and that other costs associated with an impaired driving arrest and conviction can add up to more than $17,000 for bail, legal fees, court appearances, court ordered classes, vehicle insurance increases, and other expenses.
As in years past, other North Texas cities are expected to have similar enforcement programs in place.
In Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a vehicular crash involving alcohol approximately every 20 minutes. In 2017, on Texas Highways, there were 944 alcohol related traffic fatality crashes.