New Year's Eve: Tips on How to Stay Safe on the Road

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Last year -- from Christmas to New Year's -- 466 drivers in Texas were arrested for drunk driving.

Come New Year's Eve, the Wichita Falls Police Department will be keep an eye out for this behavior, and they will monitor the night clubs, bars and party locations.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will also be out in force as usual.

"The Texas Highway Patrol will have every available trooper out on the highways watching for impaired drivers over this next 48 to 72 hour period," Sgt. Dan Buesing said.

If you are the designated driver, the police department and Texas Highway Patrol have tips on how to stay safe while out on the road.

"Things I would recommend drivers look out for.... if you see cars in front of you or that you pass -- maybe can't maintain a lane or they are driving on the shoulder of the road or even if it's a situation where they are coming head on at you -- just stay back as far as you can and if you're on the highway, maybe exit and get off of the highway," Officer Tim Johnson said.

If you spot impaired driving signs, then you can call 911 to keep others safe.

"911. Make sure you're safe yourself before you make the call. Hopefully, you can get a passenger to do it and definitely call in. Tell them where you are, what direction you are driving and stay the safe distance," Sgt. Buesing said.

If you make the decision to get behind the wheel while impaired, then you may regret it for a long time.

"You will spend at least a night -- if not more -- in jail. In the county jail. Severe fines. Your license will be suspended. There will be surcharges on your drivers license. Of course, your insurance rate will change, and even in some instances -- your job may be in jeopardy," Sgt. Buesing said.

More than 1,400 people were killed last year in Texas because of drunk driving.

The legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08, but keep in mind you can be arrested for impaired driving for a variety of reasons.


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