More patrols to crack down on DWIs during New Year's celebration - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

More patrols to crack down on DWIs during New Year's celebrations

DPS Corporal John Gonzalez (KCBD File Photo) DPS Corporal John Gonzalez (KCBD File Photo)

As New Year's celebrations begin on Saturday, so do the extra patrols from Lubbock law enforcement agencies.

Saturday and Sunday night you can expect to spot more officers and troopers on the roadways as they look for drunk drivers and other offenders.

"If tonight you do go to a party, as a home owner be responsible for your patrons and take up the keys just like anyone taking up coats or hats," said DPS Corporal John Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says last year DPS troopers arrested around 2,000 people in Texas for DWI just between Christmas and New Year's – something that is sure to put a dent in your pocket book.

"You have fees, plus impounding, plus money to bond out of jail - that's up to $10,000 dollars. Not to mention you got about $3,000 worth of state surcharges due to your driver license," Gonzalez said.

Even worse than a dent in the wallet – or your car – a life could be lost. In 2009 nearly 11,000 people died in alcohol related accidents across the nation.

"If you go to a bar there are other options. Designate a driver in your group, call a taxi or someone else who has not been drinking," Gonzalez said.

Some in Lubbock have already ensured their celebrations end safely, with many reserving cabs as early as Wednesday. Just one of two taxi services in Lubbock, Yellow Cab says they're expecting at least 4,000 calls on New Year's Eve alone.

"Later in the night there's going to be a 45 minute wait, but at least we have 14 cars on the street to pick everyone up and get them home," said Jeremy Kamp, Yellow Cab night dispatcher.

You could wait for the 45 minutes and pay a cab fee or spend a night in jail spending thousands on a DWI. Gonzalez just hopes if you do drink, that you think twice before getting behind the wheel.

"You could just make one phone call to have someone take you home and you don't have to worry about the other 15 things like going to court, hiring an attorney, or losing your job," he said.

If you do decide to call a taxi, drivers ask that you be patient as they try their best to get to everyone tonight.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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