Police In Greater Houston Will Be Out In Force For The New Year’s Holiday

Police in Greater Houston say too many people are dying in drunk-driving crashes. They’re appealing to holiday revelers to arrange for a sober ride home before the party starts.

A Houston Police Department’s DWI Task Force patrol cars.


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Harris County continues to have one of the highest drunk driving fatality rates in the country. In 2015, 112 people died in alcohol-related crashes.

So why are those rates so high?

Harris County's large population is one factor, but the Houston Police Department's Don Egdorf says there's also an issue of personal responsibility. That includes making plans for a sober ride home.

"People in Texas and people in Houston, they love their cars," says Egdorf. "And they don't want to be without their cars. People don't plan very well ahead of time with what they're going to do."

To try to stem the high DWI rate, HPD will have extra patrols this holidays weekend. Egdorf says a TxDOT grant will help pay for overtime.

"And the sole purpose of those extra officers is looking for drunk drivers," adds Egdorf. "They're not out running other calls for service. They're not going to the domestics or the shootings or things like that. Strictly drunk drivers is what they're looking for."

Montgomery County says it's also beefing up enforcement. Figures show that in 2015, 45% of crashes in the county were alcohol-related. That's compared to 39% for the rest of the state.

For those who didn’t plan ahead before going out to party, police say a cab or Uber ride is a lot cheaper than getting hit with a DWI.

AAA Texas will also be offering its Tipsy Tow program.


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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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