As you can imagine, the police presence around the Coastal Bend will be beefed up starting Friday as Spring Break gets underway.
Finding drunk drivers will be the number one priority for law officers, but they will also be out on the beaches making sure the good times don't get out of hand. There will likely be a lot of people out on the beach this Spring Break, but the Corpus Christi Police Department said they can handle as many people as show up.
The center emergency lane on the beach, set apart by barricades of sand, is pretty wide compared to the travel lanes. That will help the 20-30 extra officers that are out patrolling the beach. They are looking primarily for underage drinking, which they say is the biggest problem they have every year.
In fact, a Crime Stoppers campaign is underway offering $250 rewards to those who call in reports of underage drinkers.
Newport Pass has been closed because, in past years, the high tide has come in and caused the area to turn into a mud pit. Precautionary measures have been taken to prevent that from happening, but that has also caused traffic patterns to change as well.
There is also a signal system in place along Highway 361 to try and make sure that traffic gets in and out of the beach as quickly as possible.
Department of Public Safety troopers will also be out in force this Spring Break, working overtime to catch drunk drivers.
"We are going to concentrate on 361, the road that goes from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas, because we know there is going to be a lot of traffic in there, and possibly people will be driving under the influence," CPS Corporal Charlie Ramirez said. "So we're going to be looking for those individuals that decide to drink and drive."
From March 7-23, DPS troopers will focus a good portion of their patrols on high-risk locations. Last year, in the same time period, DPS troopers made over a 1,000 DWI arrest.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a couple of local business are teaming up to make sure there is no excuse for drinking and driving over Spring Break.
Apollo Towing will be joining forces with L&F Distributors, the local Budweiser distributor, for their second annual No Excuses Spring Break free towing service. Starting Friday through Sunday, March 16, Apollo will be offering free no-questions-asked towing for impaired drivers. Just call 361-853-0003.