Harris County DWI enforcement intensifies for New Year’s weekend

Authorities in Harris County, Texas, are urging people not to drink and drive during the New Year’s holiday weekend. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is set to implement its “No Refusal DWI Initiative” by which drivers suspected of intoxication can’t refuse a blood alcohol test. The program, which is put into effect every year during the holiday season, led to 42 DWI arrests and 18 non-DWI arrests in the previous year.

The warning comes after the county’s high rate of fatal DWI crashes, with 148 people killed in DUI incidents in 2022 alone. At a recent press conference, the relatives of Deputy Jennifer Chavis, who was also a victim of drunk driving, raised awareness about the real-life consequences of such actions.

HPD Chief Troy Finner echoed the sentiment, pointing out that these incidents are entirely avoidable. He criticized the frequent recurrence of DWI-related deaths in Harris County and affirmed their determined efforts to stop these tragedies.

New legislation, House Bill 393, was also brought to light which mandates drunk drivers who cause the death of a child’s guardian to pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school.

The officials are reminding those celebrating New Year’s Eve to plan their journey back home in advance, with a sober driver or rideshare service, or to stay where they are until they’ve sobered up.

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