Texans planning to celebrate the last three-day weekend of the summer should know that the Texas Highway Patrol will be out in force looking for people who are driving while intoxicated.
During the Labor Day weekend all available state troopers will be out on Texas roadways in support of the “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.” program.
“We are serious about enforcing this law,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Too many innocent people are killed every year in this state when drivers choose to consume alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle. We intend to do our part to find those intoxicated drivers and get them off the road.”
It is illegal in Texas to operate a motor vehicle with a breath alcohol content of 0.08 or above.
During the Labor Day weekend in 2006, DPS troopers arrested 887 people across the state for driving while intoxicated.
The punishment for a DWI conviction:
First offense: Fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or a jail term of 72 hours to 180 days; participation in an alcohol education and treatment program even if probation is granted; license suspension from three months to one year.
Second Offense: Fine up to $4,000 and/or jail term of 30 days to one year; mandatory 72 hours in jail even if probation is granted; license suspension from six months to two years.
Third Offense: Fine not to exceed $10,000; prison term of two years to 10 years; mandatory jail term of 10 days even if probation is granted; license suspension from six months to two years.
Intoxication manslaughter: Fine up to $10,000, prison term of two to 20 years, license suspension from six months to two years.
DPS also is a participant in Operation CARE-Combined Accident Reduction Effort-a nationwide effort by police agencies to reduce fatalities on major interstate highways during holiday weekends.
In addition to intoxicated drivers, troopers will be looking for speeders and those who are not wearing seatbelts as required by law.