Impaired driving is a serious issue across the United States. According to recent data, Texas has the eighth highest number of drunk driving collisions that result in death. When asked about this data, police in Austin said that their goal was to decrease the number of people driving under the influence across the city.
According to the Austin Police Department, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 DWI arrests across the city annually. The police will be out in full force on Memorial Day Weekend, when researchers say there is a four-fold increase in drunk driving deaths. They have dubbed the days between May 24 and June 10 as "No Refusal Weekend." During this period, officers can forcefully take blood from those who refuse a sobriety test.
Dallas, Houston and San Antonio all have a high number of drunk driving fatalities each year than Austin, but police advise that an increase in drugged driving across the state is on their radar. Many people are unaware that even if drugs are prescribed, driving under their influence is a crime. Police in Austin say their goal is to decrease incidents rather than increase arrests. In 2017, 24 people in the city were killed by intoxicated drivers.
People across Texas should be cautious on the roads over Memorial Day Weekend, as many people may take risks they normally would not. Those who are arrested and charged with drunk driving due to increased police presence during this period often have multiple legal options. It is a good idea to contact a Texas lawyer as soon as possible to understand possible defenses in these circumstances.
Source: fox7austin.com, "Texas ranks 8th for highest number of fatal DUI wrecks in the country", Destiny Chance, May 10, 2018