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DPS Increasing Patrols This Independence Day; APD Sets 'No Refusal' Enforcement

Daniel Reese, KUT News

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding Fourth of July revelers to plan ahead before they party.

“If you are drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or some other form of transportation,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Otherwise, you could be making a very expensive or even fatal mistake.”

DPS has ramped up DWI patrols and will continue to increase enforcement through July 8. The department will focus their patrols on areas they consider to be high-risk during holiday weekends.

DPS troopers made 1,406 DWI arrests during the Independence Day enforcement period last year.

The Austin Police Department has also announced a "No Refusal" initiative for the Fourth, where suspected drunk drivers will be arrested and have their blood drawn should they not submit to a breathalyzer. APD will enforce the initiative Wednesday, July 4 from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. that morning.

AAA Texas expects nearly 3 million Texans to travel more than 50 miles this weekend, about a five percent increase over the number of travelers last year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranks the Fourth of July holiday "No. 1" for alcohol-related fatal car crashes nationally.

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