Over holidays and major events, it's common for the Texas Department of Transportation to increase traffic enforcement and watch for drivers without seat belts, driving too fast, drinking and driving, or breaking other traffic laws. Law enforcement officers also watch for people not complying with the state's “Move Over, Slow Down” law, requiring drivers to move over a lane and slow down when they encounter a stationary vehicle on the road or the shoulder. Enforcement campaigns also include the Texas Click It or Ticket program, urging Texans to buckle up.
DWIs During High Traffic Enforcement
When the Department of Transportation puts more police on the roads, they will naturally make more traffic stops and make more arrests. Over Christmas and New Year’s weekends in 2018, police made more than 400 DWI arrests. To prepare for holidays, law enforcement will:
- Put more police on the roads, watching for drunk drivers on routes they're most likely to use,
- Make more prosecutors available to advise officers on whether they have probable cause for an arrest,
- Have more judges on call to issue blood warrants for BAC tests, and
- Have more nurses available to draw blood for BAC tests.
It's good to be aware of traffic enforcement campaigns before holidays and large events.
What to Do During Traffic Enforcement Campaigns
During high traffic enforcement campaigns and all times, the Texas Department of Transportation offers tips for safe driving:
- Don't drink and drive (It is legal to drive after consuming alcohol so long as you do drink responsibility where you do not become legally drunk).
- Don't drive while distracted. Put your phone somewhere where you can't access it while driving.
- Drive defensively.
- Use the left lane only when you need to pass.
- Move over and slow down for law enforcement, EMTs, fire vehicles, tow truck, and transportation vehicles.
- Report road hazards.
- Ensure your cargo is secure and that your car is well maintained.
- Monitor the weather and any weather hazards.
You can also avoid being pulled over by police by:
- Using your turn signal when you turn or change lanes,
- Following the speed limit without going too fast or too slow,
- Keeping your registration and car maintenance up to date,
- Using your lights at dusk and when it's raining, and
- Obeying traffic signals and signs.
What to Do When the Police Pull You Over
If the police stop you, you should:
- Use your signal and pull over and wait. Keep your hands on the steering wheel while you wait for the police to ask for your driver's license, insurance, and registration.
- Be polite. Being rude or combative may get you arrested.
- Think before you act. Stay calm and choose your words carefully but don't talk too much. There's no need to give the police too much information.
- Don't give permissions. Don't give the police permission to search your car or you.
- Don't trust the police. They aren't on your side. If police suspect you've been drinking, they may act like your buddy to get information and assess your demeanor. Don't help them.
Hire an Expert in Texas DWI Defense
If you're facing a DWI arrest in Texas, you need skilled legal help right away. Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in DWI defense and Board Certified in both DWI defense and criminal law defense. He is one of only two attorneys in Texas Board Certified in both of these legal specialties. Best Lawyers in America also recently recognized Doug as “Lawyer of the Year” for 2021 DWI defense, an award he gained through the reviews of his peers in the DWI defense industry. If you're facing an arrest, Doug can help. Give us a call at 713-229-8333 to set up a consultation to explore your options.