Valley law enforcement targets drunken drivers

by Benjamin Treviño | June 29th, 2023 | Blog

Rio Grande Valley law enforcement agencies are partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to curb drunken drivers during the extended July 4 holiday weekend.

McAllen police are calling their campaign “Impaired Driving Mobilization Independence Day.” The Weslaco Police Department’s program is called the “Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign.” Other Valley law enforcement agencies are running similar programs.

In each case, officers will be increasing enforcement efforts against impaired drivers and other traffic violations. Valley police are advising motorists to plan ahead for a sober ride such as having a designated driver, calling a taxi, a sober friend or family member, using a ride share service, or staying home. All of the campaigns begin June 29 and run through July 9.

Along with police departments in the area, District Attorneys Toribio “Terry” Palacios of Hidalgo County and Luis V. Saenz of Cameron County announced their agencies will be enforcing the “No Refusal Weekend.” This means suspected drunken drivers who refuse a breathalyzer and/or field sobriety test will be arrested and jailed, and a court order will be sought to administer a blood test.

According to official records, 26 percent of 2022 traffic fatalities in the state of Texas involved a drunk driver. “On average, this translates to one person losing their life every 7 hours and 32 minutes, amounting to three lives per day,” Weslaco police said via Facebook. “Disturbingly, despite a 3% decrease in drunk driving-related traffic crashes from the previous year, the number of fatalities increased by 2% in 2022.”

Officials want to remind residents that driving while under the influence can result in death, and “lead to severe and often irreversible physical, emotional and financial consequences” for those involved.

Not only can incidents stemming from driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence cause irreversible damage but it can also be a financial burden, result in legal trouble, hinder job prospects, cause distrust from loved ones and instill a lifetime of regret, Weslaco police warned.

“(One) in 4 traffic deaths on Texas roads is caused by drunk drivers, about 38% of the total traffic fatalities during the Fourth of July holiday reporting period in Texas involve drivers under the influence of alcohol,” the Cameron County DA’s office said in a news release.

District Attorneys Gocha Allen Ramirez of Starr County and Annette Hinojosa of Willacy County as well as police officers in those counties are also participating in the stepped up enforcement.

J. Gonzalez Law Firm supports campaigns against drunken driving

The J. Gonzalez Law Firm supports our men and women in blue and we agree that the effort to curb drunken driving is everyone’s responsibility. Our staff wants everyone to have a safe and patriotic Fourth of July weekend, but if you’re going to consume alcohol please call a designated driver, a taxi, a sober friend or family member. Just don’t get behind the wheel!

If you should happen to be injured by a drunken driver, call us at 1-800-CAR-CRASH for the best legal representation possible!



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