APD, DPS, TxDOT raising awareness of dangers during holiday weekend

Labor Day Weekend is often considered the last hurrah of summer, and many people are anticipated to be out on the road.

"Everybody’s expecting to see more people traveling, whether it’s to the beach, another destination, or to see family," said Sgt. Deon Cockrell with DPS. "So we tell them to take a little bit more time and to be prepared for those delays."

Sgt. Cockrell said they pretty much have all of their traffic officers out patrolling this holiday weekend.

"You see a combination of everything," said Sgt. Cockrell. "There's always more people in a hurry, driving fast, you get your aggressive drivers too and that’s what we don’t want people to do, we don’t want them to respond and react to that guy who is driving a little fast or who may cut you off."

Holiday weekends can also bring an increased risk of crashes caused by drunk drivers. APD has increased DUI patrols and is enforcing a "DWI No Refusal Initiative" over the weekend.

"Last year on Labor Day, here in the Austin area, 22% of the crashes were alcohol-related, and 39% of the people that died were in those alcohol-related crashes," said Christopher Bishop, public information officer for TxDOT. "The worst part is it’s completely preventable."

According to TxDot, on average a person in Texas dies every nine hours as a result of a crash involving alcohol.

TxDOT just launched a new campaign called "Faces of Drunk Driving" in an effort to raise awareness. Events are being held statewide to share stories of Texans who are dealing with the consequences of a drunk driving crash through interactive displays.

"It’s not just statistics," said Bishop. "These are the real people who have been affected by this."

You can also view the videos online by clicking HERE. The videos are available in English and Spanish.

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