Texas Law Enforcement cracks down on drunk drivers this holiday season

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PAMPA — Texas law enforcement is ramping up patrols to combat drunk driving this holiday season. Officers statewide will work thousands of extra hours in December to help keep people safe on the roadways. Texas is participating in the national enforcement crackdown sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Pampa Police Department has teamed up with them on the initiative.

If the Pampa Police Department suspects a driver has been drinking and is impaired, the driver will be pulled over.  Thanks to a grant from TxDOT, our department will have extra officers on the street during the holiday season.  Because of this, your chances of getting stopped are a lot greater.  Impaired drivers who get behind the wheel can expect to be pulled over and arrested.  However, it doesn’t stop there. In addition to jail time, drivers who are arrested for driving while intoxicated can face fines, fees, and associated costs of up to $17,000.  The legal limit in Texas for intoxication is .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration). However, when a law enforcement officer has probable cause based on the driver’s behavior, drivers can be arrested with a BAC below .08. 

“Don’t make one bad decision that could ruin the rest of your life — or someone else’s life,” said Pampa PD’s Crime Prevention Officer, Brian Massey. “If you are going out drinking, plan for a sober ride home before you ever leave the house.  Even though you may have driven drunk in the past, your luck could very well run out this time, and end with your arrest, or even worse, someone’s death.”

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) encourages Texans to give the gift of a sober ride this holiday season. It’s a gift that could save a life while also protecting drivers from the formidable legal and financial troubles that can result from drinking and driving. 

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI-alcohol) can have tragic consequences. According to TxDOT, there were over 2,300 DUI-alcohol traffic crashes in Texas last holiday season (Dec. 1, 2013 – Jan. 1, 2014), resulting in 763 serious injuries and 92 fatalities. Compared to the previous year, there was a 6.6 percent decrease in DUI-alcohol crashes and an 8.9 percent decrease in DUI-alcohol traffic fatalities in Texas. These decreases are encouraging, but there is still a lot of work to be done. 

“We hope that increased visibility by law enforcement this holiday season can save lives on the road,” said Massey.  “That’s our goal, and we need your help to achieve it.  Give yourself and everyone else on the road the gift of a safe and cheerful holiday-- Plan ahead, and don’t drink and drive.”

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