Police target drunken driving over Memorial weekend

"Arrive Alive" initiative targets drunken driving over Memorial weekend (Natalie Hee/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department is enforcing a No-Refusal weekend with the launch of a new traffic safety initiative called “Arrive Alive Central Texas.”

With the goal of saving lives by getting drunken drivers off the road, 22 law enforcement agencies from around the area are collaborating to make sure the roadways are safe for everyone.

“What we want to do is change the culture in the area, make sure that if people are out drinking, they have a designated driver, taking a cab, or have a safe way home,” said Cedar Park Assistant Police Chief Mike Harmon.”It’s very important people understand that they’re affecting many, many lives when they’re getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving drunk.”

The Arrive Alive initiative starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. and ends Memorial Day at 5:30 p.m.

Some 126 crashes, six of those causing serious injuries, happened in Austin over the 2013 Memorial weekend, according to police. During that period, 103 people were also arrested on DWI charges.

“We just want people to go out, have a good time, but also get home safely and keep the roadways safe,” said Harmon.

Austin and its surrounding areas have experienced a sharp spike in the number of traffic-related deaths. The biggest factors contributing to these deaths are driver/pedestrian impairment, speeding and aggressive driving.

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