Agencies prepare to keep Central Texas roads safe during Memorial Day weekend

More than 20 agencies across the region are teaming up ahead of the Memorial Day weekend to keep drivers safe. AAA Texas estimates 2.7 million people will hit the roads this weekend.

From Hays County to Bell County officers, troopers and deputies are prepared to enforce the rules of the road and write tickets if you decide to break them.

"We're hoping again that lives will be saved," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. Two years ago APD kicked off Arrive Alive Central Texas. The traffic safety initiative focuses on keeping the Central Texas region safe. Officers will be looking for people speeding, driving while intoxicated, reckless drivers and seat

"This is a regional effort so don't feel like you're safe once you leave the Austin city limits. If you're engaged in dangerous behavior and you're in an arrive alive area there will be vigorous attempts to pick you up," said Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix.

Since the start of Arrive Alive in 2013 officers have issued 19,099 citations and 13,282 warning citations. The operations resulted in 2,707 misdemeanor arrests and 644 of those were for DWIs. The increased patrols also led to 882 felony arrests and 85 of those were for DWIs.

In 2014 during the Memorial Day weekend APD responded to 154 crashes and six of those were serious. One person died and 111 people went to jail for drinking and driving.

The efforts have led to a 22 percent reduction in serious injury and fatality crashes from 2013 to 2014.

"That's not just a statistic. It is real lives. Real bodies and real limbs and real families and neighborhoods not experiencing death and injuries," said Acevedo.

Memorial Day is notorious for drinking and driving. Lt. Keith Walker says APD's DWI unit is ready.

"This is one of our busiest weekends and it is a huge DWI coalition effort," said Walker. Those efforts continue to grow. "We're looking for drunk and drugged drivers and we're out there and we'll find you," said Walker.

With more rain expected over the weekend agencies are also encouraging people to pay attention to any standing water on the roads and use caution driving in the rain.

Arrive Alive and the no-refusal initiative start Friday and wrap up early Tuesday morning.

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