As Houston hosts the World Series this weekend, authorities are warning fans who will out be drinking to ensure they have a plan to make it home.
“We want to continue to celebrate this historic season,” said Sean Teare, chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
“We ask that while celebrating, you have a plan to get home safely,” he said. “Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are ramping up efforts to take on drunk drivers this weekend. “It won’t be as much fun to root for our team from the Harris County Jail.”
A “No Refusal Weekend” in place through Sunday for all home games.
That means any motorists who are suspected of driving under the influence, and refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, are subject to having their blood drawn and checked via a search warrant.
Additional prosecutors, nurses and other staff are in place to support Houston Police, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies protecting the roadways, thanks to a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The state agency reports that 159 people were killed in Harris County in 2016 in alcohol-related crashes. There were a total of 2,941 alcohol related crashes here last year.
Both those figures far outpace any other county in Texas.
And Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 3,776 deaths last year.
“We live in a great community, a caring community,” said John McNamee, regional executive director of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving for Southeast Texas. “Unfortunately, Texas has led the nation in drunk-driving fatalities and it is critical that you have a plan to stay safe,” he said. “Your loved one could be the next victim, or you could end up behind bars, or worse.”