ROUND ROCK, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Round Rock's Fourth of July Parade is all about celebrating independence, but Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody used the event to urge restraint.
"Happy Fourth of July. Don’t drink and drive,” Chody said as he drove by a FOX7 camera.
The sheriff wants to prevent incidents like the one he recently shared on social media. He posted video of a collision involving an alleged wrong-way drunk driver with a law enforcement officer in Ohio. The expression on the driver's face is equal to Chody's anger about it.
"There seems to be no recourse that seems to stop this, arresting doesn’t always stop it, stops it for that moment, it’s for that person they are putting into custody, but what’s the future, it’s expensive, we have to come up with some other alternatives to try do a better job,” Chody said.
Despite that frustration, Chody says another crackdown is coming.
On Twitter Thursday morning, he announced his deputies will be out in force this holiday weekend. He described it as possibly the largest Fourth of July DWI initiative they've ever had.
"We're taking our SRO's, our School Resource Officers, our traffic division and many other units in our agency and assigning them for an overtime position for a four-day initiative,” Chody said.
Williamson County deputies have had their share of close encounters with drunk drivers. Last year one incident was even captured on dash camera video.
Deputy Tabytha Horseman was caught in the door of a vehicle as it sped away in February 2018. A few days later she described what she was thinking at the time.
"My feet swept out from underneath me,” Horseman said. “I'm basically laying across him and I pull myself inside the vehicle. I'm partially on the edge of the seat and my legs are on the door-frame. You can see the ground going by you, it's going by super fast, you can hear the wind. It's pretty scary.”
That incident and other close calls are on Chody’s mind, as well as how people refuse to take advantage of programs created to provide options.
"You can get a rideshare, you can get a cab for free, Cap Metro, they are even towing cars, I understand, for free to a location, so there is no excuse,” Chody said.
Because of that, the Sheriff made it clear: on Williamson County roadways there will be zero tolerance for those who choose to drive drunk.
It’s also a No Refusal holiday weekend for APD. Last year, Austin police had a big July 4th crackdown which resulted in almost 80 arrests for DWI.