AUSTIN, TX (TX-DPS) - All available DPS troopers will be on patrol during the Memorial Day weekend in an effort to keep the traveling public safer.
"Most crashes are needless tragedies that easily could have been avoided; you don't want your holiday to end with the death of a loved one," said David Baker, assistant director in charge of the Texas Highway Patrol. "This weekend kicks off the summer season, and we are especially concerned about people who recklessly choose to drive drunk."
Troopers, and many law enforcement agencies across the state, will focus on drunk drivers, speeders and seat belt violators during the long holiday weekend.
During the Memorial Day holiday last year, DPS troopers arrested 622 drunk drivers and wrote nearly 8,511 speeding tickets. In addition, 1,937 seat belt and 521 child restraint citations were issued.
"Statistically, your chances of getting a ticket or getting arrested for DWI go up dramatically during holiday periods," said Baker.
DPS troopers are among the many officers across Texas participating in Click It or Ticket, a national campaign aimed at increasing the number of people who use their seat belts correctly. A seat belt dramatically increases the chance of survival in a serious crash.
DPS also is a participant in Operation CARE—Combined Accident Reduction Effort—a nationwide effort by police agencies to reduce fatalities during holidays.