CYPRESS — With summer in the home stretch, and Labor Day weekend fast-approaching, officials are intensifying efforts to catch drunk drivers, curb the sale of alcohol to minors, and save lives, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced today (Aug. 22, 2018).
“We want everybody to be responsible with alcohol, so no family has to endure the loss of a child or parent,” Ogg said. “Here are three tips: Don’t serve anyone who is drunk. Don’t serve anyone under 21. And if you are drinking, don’t drive.”
The District Attorney’s Office is joining forces with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the Precinct One Constable’s Office.
“This has proven over and over to be one of the most dangerous times of the year,” said Vehicular Crimes Division Chief Sean Teare, of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
“With our county continuing to lead the nation in alcohol-related roadway deaths, we must do all we can to address these tragic and preventable crashes,” Teare said.
Bentley Nettles, executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said his agency is sending a message and taking action.
“TABC wants alcohol retailers to know that any sale of alcohol to a minor presents an unacceptable safety risk,” Nettles said.
“TABC will continue to provide training and educational materials to retailers to help them make the right decision when it comes to keeping alcohol out of minors’ hands,” he said. “However, in those cases where a violation takes place, we will work with our partners at the Harris County DA’s office, as well as local law enforcement, to hold retailers accountable for their actions.”
Efforts are being beefed up to go after those who drive drunk, as well as clubs that serve alcohol after hours, and businesses that serve or sell alcoholic beverages to those under 21 years of age.
More officers will be in the streets, and more prosecutors and nurses available to support them with the writing of warrants and obtaining blood samples to measure levels of alcohol or other drugs in the systems of person’s suspected of driving under the influence.
Officers will be able to spend more time on patrol due to two satellite facilities, which will save them the time of having to take suspected intoxicated drivers to the jail downtown.
“To all those people with the tremendous responsibility of serving and selling alcohol, follow the law and you have nothing to worry about,” Teare said. “But, if you sell to minors, or over-serve intoxicated people, we will find you and put you in jail.”
The Texas Department of Transportation is funding this initiative with a special grant.