Austin – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will increase patrols for an eight-day period that includes both the Christmas and New Year holidays. From Dec. 24-27 and Dec. 31-Jan. 3, DPS troopers, as well as law enforcement across the state, will be patrolling roadways throughout the holiday weekends looking for drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators and other drivers who are endangering themselves and others.

“Drinking and driving is always a concern during the holidays, and these DPS patrols help by identifying impaired or reckless drivers who endanger the safety of the traveling public,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We urge Texans to do their part to save lives by always driving sober and adhering to all traffic laws.”

During the Christmas/New Year holiday enforcement effort last year, DPS troopers made 403 DWI arrests. DPS enforcement efforts also resulted in 7,274 speeding citations, 724 seat belt/child safety seat citations, 292 fugitive arrests and 166 felony arrests during the enforcement period.

DPS offers the following additional tips for safe travel during the holidays:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver or take a cab.
  • Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.
  • Eliminate distractions, including the use of mobile devices.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
  • Slow down or move over for police, fire, EMS and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks that are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law.
  • Don’t drive fatigued.
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.