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Don't Drink And Drive

Fair warning: More Houston cops are looking for drunk drivers during July 4th weekend

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Make sure to use a designated driver or take a cab if you are planning to drink this holiday weekend. Photo by Jonathan Benallack

If you have any lingering thoughts about drinking and driving during this long Fourth of July holiday weekend, you'd better think twice.

Top Harris County officials announced a multi-agency "no refusal" initiative to catch intoxicated drivers over the four-day weekend, beginning Thursday night (July 3) through Sunday morning (July 6). Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson emphasized the crackdown in a joint news conference at Sam Houston Park on Wednesday.

 Top Harris County officials announced a multi-agency "no refusal" initiative to catch intoxicated drivers over the weekend. 

The Houston Police Department plans to have extra officers on the streets to catch drunken drivers, Police Chief Charles McClelland told the Houston Chronicle. The department will use a new grant for DWI enforcement for the stepped-up efforts during the holiday weekend.

The number of alcohol-related incidents in Harris County has remained high during the Fourth of July holiday. In 2011, there were 271 cases; in 2012, there were 158 cases and in 2013, there were 212 cases.

The District Attorney's Office will have extra prosecutors on hand to assist law enforcement in filing cases on arrested drunk drivers throughout the weekend. Under the 'no refusal' law, a search warrant will be issued to draw blood from any suspected intoxicated driver who refuses a breathalyzer or to give a blood sample.

According to AAA Texas, 3 million Texans are planning to travel this week and 2.5 million will drive to Fourth of July celebrations, marking a 3.1 percent increase in auto travel for the holiday compared with last year.

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