Spring break festivities result in drunk driving arrests

In a time of economic recession, Houston and Galveston-area business owners might welcome college students on spring break. Students who have been saving up for weeks in anticipation can be a boost to local restaurants, bars and retail shops. Yet Texas readers might be surprised to learn that spring break festivities can boost state revenue from another source: fines levied for driving while intoxicated.

Special DWI Enforcement Drives

According to a recent announcement by the Texas Department of Public Safety, enforcement officials made a staggering 1,077 DWI arrests during a nine-day special enforcement drive this past March. Extra officers assigned to that period specifically resulted in 226 additional arrests. The additional assignments were funded by grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.

DPS officials believe that the added patrols might have saved lives, and contributed to extra safety on Texas roads and highways located near popular spring break destinations. Troopers specifically set up patrol near reputed high-risk locations, based on crash data from previous years.

College students under the legal drinking age of 21 might face serious consequences if convicted of underage drinking and driving. Any amount of alcohol in a student under age 21 might result in misdemeanor charge, with penalties that may include fines, community service or even jail. Blood alcohol levels of .08 or more in such individuals might turn into DWI charges.

If convicted, a DWI charge will become part of a student’s permanent record and may carry additional academic consequences, such as suspension, academic probation or even expulsion. The potential fines can also total thousands of dollars, even for first-time DWI offenders.

Source: everythinglubbock.com, “Texas Spring Break Crackdown Totaled 1,077 DWI Arrests,” April 22, 2013