AUSTIN — TxDOT reports that Independence Day ranks among the deadliest holidays on Texas highways when it comes to alcohol-related crashes. Last year DPS troopers made 1,294 DWI arrests during this time frame.
It can also be a dangerous holiday when it comes to celebrating on the water.
Here’s what you need to know in order to have a fun and safe holiday weekend.
Austin Humane Society: Keep pets safe, calm during fireworks displays
- Never use fireworks around pets
- Keep all pets safely indoors when fireworks are set off
- Collars and ID tags are good fashion
- Create a safe place
- Distract your pet with a fun activity if it becomes anxious
Click here for more information on these pet safety tips.
APD: Police enforcing ‘no-refusal’ policy
- The Austin Police Department will enforce a “no-refusal” initiative on Thursday July 4, 2013 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday July 5, 2013.
- The DWI initiative is an effort to enforce DWI laws, keep the public safe, and to conduct blood search warrants on suspects who refuse to give a breath or blood specimen as required by law.
- The 82nd Legislature passed HB1199 which implemented a higher class of offense for those whose blood alcohol concentration is at or above .15. Those found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or above will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year confinement in jail and a $4,000 fine for the first time offenders. This law went into effect on September 1, 2011.
APD: Personal watercraft banned on Lake Austin
- The use of personal watercraft, wet bikes, motorized surfboards and similar devices on Lake Austin is banned beginning at sunset on Wednesday July 3, 2013 and ending on Friday July 5, 2013 at sunrise. Non-motorized devices such as kayaks, canoes and paddleboards can still be used.
- Police will be patrolling Lake Austin and urge people using waterways to follow the Texas Water Safety Act and City of Austin boating laws and ordinances. Police urge all boaters to practice safe boating and to call 911 for all reckless operation of boats or emergencies.
- For more information, contact the APD Lake Patrol Unit at 512-329-8841.
DPS: More troopers on the roads looking for drunk drivers
- The Texas Department of Public Safety says more troopers than usual will be out in full force over the July 4th holiday, watching for intoxicated drivers.
- From June 28 until July 7, DPS troopers will be focused on high-risk areas all day to watch for drunk drivers. DPS says they will be in areas where DWI crashes occur the most.
- A grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, will pay for the increased amount of troopers on the road over the 10-day period.
Click here for tips on how to use fireworks safely.
Travis County: Burn ban in effect
- The Travis County Commissioners Court voted July 2 to ban outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of the county due to dry conditions and an increasing number of grass fires. The burn ban expires on July 31, unless further action is taken by the Court or Fire Marshal prior to that date.
- A burn ban does not affect the use of fireworks in the county, but it is recommend that residents attend professionally-run fireworks displays instead of personally using fireworks, which can easily start fires.
- The public is encouraged to not throw cigarettes out vehicle windows, and make sure machinery and vehicles are properly maintained to avoid creating sparks that cause fire.
- If you have questions about the burn ban, please call the Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office at 512-854-4621, or contact your local fire department.