Troopers Patrol Interstate 20 Ahead Of Mardi Gras - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/19/04 - Longview

Troopers Patrol Interstate 20 Ahead Of Mardi Gras

As thousands hit the interstates for Mardi Gras, state troopers are setting up shop on roadways to catch speeders and drunk drivers.

"Well, we assumed they were looking for somebody, what are these guys looking for?" said Alabama traveler Amy Keith. The reaction of most drivers who have come through East Texas on I-20 over the last two days as DPS troopers are out in force, stopping motorists for everything from speeding to driving under the influence.

"Well, I'm glad to see them.  It makes me feel good to know they're out there keeping the drunks off the road," said Ft. Worth traveler Bob Dean. With celebrations in Louisiana and several cities in Texas, DPS officers say hundreds of thousands of motorists will move through Texas roadways to and from celebrations.

Areas like I-10, I-20 and I-30 will be heavily patrolled. Over  the past two days I-20 had a trooper stationed every 10 miles, and it caught the attention of travelers.

"There were troopers on both sides of the road, in the median pulling people over and we would see groups of troopers together so we we're wondering what was going on" said motorist Stefanie Theoret. But not everyone thinks the effort is all positive, thinking that law abiding people will get law abiding the mix.

"Well, in a way its good, in a way it's not, they're getting a lot of the innocent guys" said Marshall resident Clifton Williams.

More than 20 troopers are scheduled to patrol roadways during the three day Jefferson Mardi Gras starting Friday.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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