The Houston-Galveston Area Council Regional DWI Task Force, which consists of 12 law enforcement agencies throughout the Houston-Galveston area, will be operating before and after the July 4 holiday to lower incidents of driving while intoxicated.
The task force is funded through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant awarded by the Texas Department of Transportation. This initiative provides overtime funds for agencies to provide enhanced DWI enforcement during holiday weekends when more alcohol-related traffic incidents occur.
Since its inception in 2013, the task force has made 1,087 DWI arrests.
Convicted first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine up to $2,000, serve six months in jail, lose their driver’s license for up to a year, and pay an additional $3,000 to retain their license. Safety officials say other costs associated with an impaired driving arrest and conviction can add up to more than $17,000 for bail, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes, vehicle insurance increases, and other expenses.
According to the H-GAC 2017 State of Safety Report, one in five traffic fatalities in the Houston-Galveston area are caused by DWI motor vehicle crashes.
“Think before you drink,” said Stephan Gage, Principal Transportation Planner at H-GAC. “If you choose to drink, appoint a designated driver or arrange for a ride home.”