Authorities crack down on impaired driving as others reflect on loved ones lost in crashes

Briana Conner Image
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Authorities crack down on impaired driving this holiday weekend
After data shows nearly a third of Houston's deadly traffic accidents involve at least one drunk driver, deputies are cracking down on policies.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thanksgiving is Thursday, but a lot of people celebrated "Drinksgiving" on Wednesday. Some call it "Blackout Wednesday," but no matter the nickname, this can be a really dangerous time out on the roads.

In Precinct 4, the constable's office is launching a special task force to find and arrest drunk drivers. In Fort Bend County, authorities are calling this a "no refusal weekend." That means if you are stopped and suspected of being under the influence, you will have to give a blood sample to prove whether you're safe to drive.

Sandra Miranda lost her two younger brothers on Nov. 13.

"I can't believe not only that they're not here, but also in the manner that they left us," Miranda said.

The loss she spoke of and this wreckage on the Beltway in west Houston may have been the result of a man's decision to drive while intoxicated.

SEE ALSO: Brothers killed when driver slammed into them on Beltway described as 'inseparable'

The shock of losing her brothers, Eduardo and Carlos, is similar to what a friend of Adrian Byrd, who died when a drunk driver hit him head-on, said he still feels more than five years after the deadly crash on the Beltway.

"That's the hardest thing to deal with," Ahmad Roper said. "When you're trying to contact someone, and they can't answer anymore."

These crashes didn't happen over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but there's a good chance that another one will.

Data over several years from the National Transportation Safety Board shows Texas leads the nation with the highest number of deadly crashes during this time, and Houston has more of these incidents than any other city in the state.

Nearly a third of deadly holiday season traffic crashes involve at least one drunk driver.

RELATED: Houston dominates as Texas city with highest traffic fatalities during Thanksgiving, data shows

"Make sure you're not just getting out there drinking and driving. Also, don't take any subscription pills your doctor didn't prescribe to you, and just be careful out there. Utilize Uber, Lyft. Utilize your friends, as well. Be that one friend who's not drinking and looking out for themselves," Roper said.

It's a wise message from a man who knows what it's like to lose someone who didn't have to die because of someone else's decision to drink and drive.

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