Police Agencies Stepping Up DWI Enforcement Tonight

As everyone rings in the new year tonight, there's little doubt people will be drinking as they celebrate.  But if you've had too much, don't think about getting behind the wheel. Law enforcement agencies will be out in full force.

Even in small towns like Electra, police will have more people on patrol than normal, on the look-out for drunk drivers.

"I'll have two guys in the afternoon shift and two guys on until 3 or 4 in the morning," said Electra Police Chief Johnny Morris.

That may not sound like a lot, until you realize that's double the number of officers out on a normal day.  But Electra police aren't alone.  They work in conjunction with the Wichita County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Public Safety to handle any problems along Highway 287.

"Everybody is trying to put more people on the road to stop the problems.  We'd rather try to solve them and stop it before it actually happens," Morris said.

The Wichita County Sheriff's Office received a $25,000 grant to step up DWI enforcement.  That allows them to have more deputies out on the streets, too.

Chief Morris says if you see someone who seems drunk getting into the driver's seat, it's best not to confront them.

"You don't want to get into an altercation with a subject that may or may not have been drinking," he said.

Instead, call the police.  On a cell phone, 9-1-1 will automatically connect with the nearest police agency.  Morris also has advice for people who see an erratic driver on the road.

"We ask them, if they can, to stay behind that vehicle because we'll ask them to stay on the phone so we can find out where they're at," he said.

Remember to give a detailed description of the car, or a license plate, if possible.  Morris says anytime there's someone driving too slow, too fast, or weaving in and out of lanes, police can always go and check it out, in case there is a problem.

Of course, Chief Morris says not to take any chances if you think you or someone else has had too much to drink.  Don't hesitate to call a friend, family member, or taxi.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6