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Austin Police Target Drunk Driving Over ROT Biker Rally Weekend

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Austin Police Department announced today two traffic safety initiatives for this weekend’s Republic of Texas Biker Rally, the largest ticketed-admission motorcycle rally in the United States.

The first initiative, Arrive Alive Central Texas, is a joint venture between APD and 21 other area law enforcement agencies that will increase police presence throughout Austin from Thursday morning until Sunday night. APD is also instituting a "No Refusal" initiative from Friday night until Sunday morning. The two measures are designed to ensure safety on the road from drunk drivers.

“I really want to make sure it’s a safe weekend, so that means don’t drink and drive,” APD Assistant Chief Jason Dusterhoft says. “Otherwise we’re going to end up finding a home for you, and it’s going to be in jail. We don’t need that to happen. You don’t need that to happen. So let’s make it a safe weekend.”

During last year’s ROT Rally weekend, there were 254 crashes in Austin, resulting in three deaths and 54 injuries, according to an APD press release. None of the fatalities were directly related to the rally.

The Travis County Expo Center is the main location for the ROT Biker Rally, which spans June 12-15. The event will include a motorcycle parade and party on Congress Avenue on Friday.

Dusterhoft says the weekend’s festivities should be excellent, just as long as everyone enjoys them responsibly.

“In the end, I think the 45,000 plus people coming to Austin are going to have a great time,” he says. “The biggest thing we want is for everyone to be safe.”

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