Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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August 19, 2013

Labor Day DPS patrols boosted

Athens — AUSTIN —  The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will increase DWI patrols from Aug. 19 through Sept. 9, which includes the Labor Day holiday weekend. DPS troopers will focus DWI patrols in high-risk locations at times when alcohol-related crashes are most frequent. The enhanced patrols that target impaired drivers are funded through a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

“Keeping Texas roadways safe for all travelers is a vital concern for DPS, and these increased patrols are designed to save lives by getting intoxicated drivers off the road,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The Department urges drivers to mark the Labor Day holiday responsibly by utilizing safe driving practices and not drinking and driving.”

During the Labor Day enforcement effort last year, DPS troopers made 1,879 DWI arrests, and about 503 of those were the direct result of the increased patrols. Last year during this same time period, DPS enforcement also resulted in 24,779 speeding citations, 3,890 seat belt/child safety seat citations and 4,062 no-insurance tickets.

In addition, troopers made 1,238 fugitive arrests, 895 felony arrests and 889 drug arrests during routine patrol operations.

DPS offers the following tips for safe travel during the Labor Day holiday:

• Don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver or take a cab.

• Eliminate distractions, including the usage of mobile devices.

• Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.

• Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.

• Slow down or move over for tow trucks and police, fire and EMS vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law. Starting Sept. 1, the law also applies to TxDOT vehicles.

• Don’t drive fatigued.

• Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.

• Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.

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