Texas drivers may have observed higher numbers of Harris County deputies patrolling the county’s roads and highways for possible drunk drivers during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. According to a recent report, that increased enforcement effort is scheduled to continue in the coming weeks, to some degree.
According to county officials, officers will be stationed at highly trafficked routes and/or intersections during certain evening hours. Officials want residents to know that penalties are severe, even for a first offense of driving while intoxicated.
A DWI conviction for a first-time offender could mean license suspension of up to two years, a fine up to $500, a 12-hour educational program, and possible community service. Even a skilled Houston DWI attorney might encounter resistance from prosecutors aggressively applying this enforcement initiative, although an attorney may also have negotiation strategies and tips for raising a successful defense.
Officials will also be targeting underage drinking. As part of the state’s Zero Tolerance Law, it is illegal for any driver under the age of 21 to have any amount of alcohol in his or her system. Thus, even if a blood alcohol content is at a level that would be under the legal limit of 0.08 for an adult, a driver under 21 could face penalties potentially as severe as an adult DWI offender. Under state law, this underage drinking charge is classified as driving under the influence, or DUI.
Finally, the Harris County Precinct is promoting a hotline for reporting suspected DWI offenders. Local residents are invited to report any instance of driving that appears reckless or possibly dangerous. If residents cannot remember the local number, calling 911 is also an option.
Source: yourhoustonnews.com, “Harris County deputies work to reduce minor DWI crashes,” July 8, 2013