The last holiday weekend of the summer is typically a busy one on Texas highways. It’s also usually a busy one for law enforcement, with an uptick in the number of impaired drivers on the roads the next few days. John Sampa is a state trooper in the DPS’s safety education office.
“Last year the Highway Patrol arrested over 700 folks for driving while intoxicated and wrote over 12,000 speeding tickets. So being that Texas is a very populated state and Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation, you have a bunch of people out on the road all the time and so our main focus it to keep everybody safe out there on the highways so they can get to their destinations safe.”
Triple A Texas expects a slight increase in the number of people traveling this weekend compared to this time last year. Sampa says troopers will be on the lookout for speeders and other minor traffic violations too. He says simple traffic stops often help authorities identify drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“In the state of Texas, it’s against the law to change lanes without signaling, so just a simple traffic stop can lead up to a number of things, so it’s not just the weaving on the road. It’s any indication of violation of the traffic law.”
The DPS will also be part of the No Refusal Weekend in Harris and Montgomery counties, where troopers can get warrants for blood samples if a driver refuses a breathalyzer.
Texans who have had too much to drink can find transportation options for getting home on this website: http://www.texasdwi.org/.
Written by Jack Williams and voiced by Pat Hernandez.