Written by Phil Cerroni
Throughout the upcoming 2012 holiday season the Carrollton and Coppell Police Departments, along with the Texas Highway Patrol, will be combining efforts and resources into a Task Force focused on intoxicated drivers. All three agencies will be deploying Officers and Troopers to apprehend intoxicated drivers on roadways throughout Coppell and Carrollton, as well as bordering highways and interstate roadways. Arrests will be considered “No Refusal,” and the Officers and Troopers will be prepared to seek search warrants to obtain blood samples from those arrested.
Mark Dant, Assistant Chief of Police with the Carrollton Police Department, is a strong proponent of partnership-based DWI enforcement. “During our high intensity DWI deployment, we will be aggressively looking for all impaired drivers and will arrest anyone we find driving intoxicated. Our unified goal is to keep our communities safe by reducing the number of injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by intoxicated drivers.”
Although all three agencies routinely enforce intoxicated driving laws, the holiday season has an increased potential for drivers to make the dangerous decision to drive after drinking, and a combined effort can combat this exponentially. Coppell Police Department Police Chief Mac Tristan stated, “The family of someone killed by a drunk driver is not going to be concerned about where city limits start and end; a drunk driver just outside the city limits of Coppell poses just as serious a threat to our roadways and our community. We are glad to partner with Carrollton and Texas Highway Patrol.”
Texas Highway Patrol will do its part by having troopers patrolling in an effort to keep the traveling public safer.In 2011, there were 1,039 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This is 34.5% of the total number of people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
MADD representative Cathy Quaid noted that traffic fatalities increased a projected nine percent in the first half of 2012 when compared with 2011 - the largest percentage increase for a half-year time period on record. She stated, “While we don't know yet how many of these deaths were caused by drunk driving, we do know that nearly one-third of all fatal crashes involve a drunk driver. An increase like this could mean almost one thousand additional people would be killed in drunken driving crashes. MADD recognizes that high visibility law enforcement is the greatest deterrent to drunk driving and supports the joint effort of Carrollton and Coppell Police Departments and the Texas Highway Patrol for their DWI high intensity deployment over the holidays.”
Please call 911 immediately if you see any signs of intoxication among other motorists including, but not limited to:
- Weaving or zig-zagging across the road
- Stopping without cause or erratic braking
- Driving with headlights off at night
- Driving slower than 10 mph below speed limit
- Driving into opposing traffic on the wrong side of the road
Stay as far away from the other vehicle as possible and follow the instructions of the public safety dispatcher.