If you are going to hit the bars during this holiday season, make sure you drink responsibly, because the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will be watching.

The state agency says it is stepping up patrols in response to the increase in the number of DWI fatalities and arrests. We are nearing 1,000 DWI arrests so far this year in Corpus Christi.

Too many bad things happening to innocent people, caused by those who chose to be irresponsible.

"We do have several undercover operations planned during this next month," said Larry Linscombe of the TABC.

Linscombe says his department always increases patrols of local bars during the holiday season, making sure they are in compliance with all state laws; but specifically making sure that public safety comes first.

He said TABC agents, both uniformed and undercover, routinely patrol bars looking first for customers who have had more adult beverages than they can handle, and second for bar employees who continue to serve those who have had too much to drink.

"Obviously, first that's going to start off with slurred speech. A lot of times when people are intoxicated, they'll get loud and boisterous," Linscombe said. "We look for the staggered walk, the unsure balance, clothing being in disarray. Watch them when they go to the bathroom, see how well they do. If they stagger to the bathroom, or stagger out, you know. It just depends. We just don't go to a location and just camp out."

Another part of the planned TABC crackdown are minor-stings. That is when underage decoys are sent into bars, restaurants and convenience stores to try to buy alcoholic beverages.

Linscombe said the statewide crackdowns are meant to send a message that public safety comes first.