DPS increasing law enforcement over the weekend

Amid a curfew in place for Hidalgo County and Cameron County, the Texas Department of Public Safety will increase enforcement over the Fourth of July weekend.

Lt. Christopher Olivarez said that they do not anticipate as much traffic as in recent years, but they are prepared for individuals who still choose to drink and drive.

“Of course you’re still going to have individuals that try to go out,” Olivarez said. “They might be drinking at home or at a friends house, they try to get behind the wheel and start to drive. I’m sure we’re still going to see some of those types of incidents.”

He said that there will be increased enforcement action from troopers to ensure the safety of the public over the weekend. 

“We’re still going to treat it as if it were a regular Fourth of July weekend,” Olivarez said. “We’re gonna still increase our patrol efforts. There will be an increased presence of DPS troopers to enforce those traffic laws and also to deter and arrest any drunk drivers that are out.”

DPS plans to increase their enforcement beginning Friday through Sunday. 

Olivarez said that the Fourth of July weekend is considered an operation holiday, meaning that every DPS trooper will be out and about enforcing traffic laws and deterring drunk drivers.

He said that while it is a holiday in which many would regularly gather with family and friends, he emphasized the need for the public to abide by the counties’ orders pertaining to COVID-19.

“Stay home with your family, social distance, don’t have get-togethers,” Olivarez said. “If you’re going to drink, don’t get behind the wheel. Don’t drive. Stay home. There’s a curfew in place. There’s bars that are closed. A lot of places are closed right now, so there’s really no need for anybody to go out and want to drink somewhere.”

Olivarez said that troopers don’t get time off during holidays such as this weekend. He said that with the increased enforcement, it’s best to stay home.

“We do expect that people are going to have get-togethers at home and want to drink at home, so we want to put that out there,” Olivarez said. “That’s fine if you want to drink at home, but don’t get behind the wheel and drive. That’s when you pose a risk to not only yourself, but to the public as well.”

fjimenez@themonitor.com