CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Roads packed with holiday drivers this Thanksgiving can mean more danger and intoxicated drivers.
Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez said with heightened police presence, intoxicated drivers are likely to get caught. When that happens, a warrant is secured for the driver's blood. They are then taken to the hospital to have it drawn, where it can be used as evidence to prosecute.
"There is a potential that you ruin somebody's life forever and including your own, and so that's the thing you want to avoid the most. If you don't drink and drive, then obviously you can't kill anybody," Gonzalez said.
He adds that roads are monitored in a collaborative effort between law enforcement. DPS covers rural areas, CCPD covers the city limits, and the Nueces County Sheriff's Office helps transport anyone accused of driving intoxicated across jurisdictions. DWIs that cause accidents that kill someone carry a two-to-twenty year prison sentence.
"That's a long time to be locked away from your loved ones, from your kids, from your community and so it's just not with it," Gonzalez said. "And I think if everyone can understand that it's not worth it, hopefully we can save some lives out there. Not only save some lives, but save some heartache from people who are involved," Gonzalez said.
The Corpus Christi Police Department has additional officers looking for drunk drivers throughout the night. Those officers provide that assistance year-round.
"Obviously, you don't want to drink and drive, you know. Should you be on the road and you see somebody that may be impaired, you know, by all means call the 911," said CCPD Lt. Michael Pena.
Pena said DWI's happen throughout the year, so CCPD monitors the roads from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. with additional officers to stop them during peak hours. He said there are better alternatives to drinking and driving.
"We have to look out for ourselves by planning, you know. If you're going to go out and you're going to drink alcohol, you know, have a plan to get home, you know. Whether it be, again I can't stress this enough, rideshare, taxi, designated driver," Pena said.
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