The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Amarillo Police Department (APD), and the Potter County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) will be conducting a three-day DWI task force to combat drunk driving in Potter and Randall counties. Amarillo officers will join law enforcement agencies across the state during the Memorial Day Weekend to help keep Texas roadways safe. The task force will commence at 6 p.m. Friday and conclude at 4 a.m. Monday.
Law enforcement will be out in full force, looking for a wide range of traffic violations, with a primary focus on detecting intoxicated drivers, according to a news release from DPS. Upon arrest for DWI, violators who refuse a breath test will be subject to a blood search warrant.
DPS is reminding drivers of their duty to help keep our roadways safe. Please do not drink and drive. If you plan to go out and consume alcohol, designate a sober driver beforehand or find an alternate means of travel, such as a rideshare service.
APD has received a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant and Commercial Motor vehicle Grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to put more officers on the streets over the holiday weekend. Now through Tuesday, extra officers will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, those failing to wear a seatbelt, speeding and/or racing, and other traffic law violations.
“So far in 2022 we have had five fatal accidents which have claimed the lives of seven people,” APD said in a release. “The Amarillo Police Department is going to do our part over this weekend to make sure that number does not go up. … The Amarillo Police Department hopes that everyone has a safe Memorial Day Weekend.”
Safety initiatives, tips from TxDOT
Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has several safety initiatives underway to help make sure everyone arrives safely to their destination.
“For many Texas families, the Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start of summer filled with road trips and recreation,” TxDOT says in a news release. “Remember to take frequent breaks if traveling long distances and make use of one of our several safety rest areas and Travel Information Centers.”
Last week, TxDOT’s Amarillo District kicked off the 20th anniversary of Click It or Ticket in Texas. And TxDOT’s annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign calls attention to the safety precautions motorists must take to protect motorcyclists. TxDOT offers these life-saving safety tips for drivers to protect motorcyclists and prevent crashes:
– Take extra care when making a left turn
– Pay special attention at intersections
– Give driving your full attention
– Look twice when changing lanes
– Give motorcyclists room when passing them
– Stay back
– Slow down
“Texas posts speed limits so you know how fast you should drive under normal conditions,” TxDOT says in the release. “Speed limit signs encourage you to travel at safe speeds to get you to your destination safely in the shortest possible time. Texas speed limits are the law, and they are strictly enforced across the state.” Whether you encounter weather conditions, traffic congestion, or construction zones, follow these tips:
– Slow down and allow for more distance to stop
– Look out for flashing beacons warning of intersections
– Look for pavement markings to guide you
– Watch for signs alerting you of reduced speed limits ahead
– Plan While You Can
Drivers under the influence of alcohol face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time, and loss of their driver’s license. Find alternatives to drinking alcohol and driving, such as:
– Designating a sober driver or calling someone for a sober ride home
– Contacting a cab or ride-share service
– Using mass transit
– Spending the night
In addition to the penalties for drunk driving, HB 2502, which took effect Sept. 1, 2019, requires a judge to include a minimum of 120 days of confinement when granting community supervision for the offense of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in the death of a person.
TxDOT’s safety initiatives are all key components of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices, in reference to Nov. 7, 2000, the last deathless day on Texas roadways.