Millions expected to hit road for Labor Day weekend

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two million Texans are expected to the hit road beginning today for the long Labor Day weekend, that’s according to AAA. And the Austin Police Department wants drivers to know it’s a No Refusal weekend starting Friday at 9 p.m. and running until 5 a.m. Tuesday.  In 2013 over this same weekend, Austin police dealt with 108 crashes. One of those was deadly, five involved serious injuries, and 95 people got arrested on charges of DWI.

The No Refusal weekend means drivers who refuse a breath test will be taken in to have their blood drawn. This No Refusal also extends to the lake, so for those planning on driving a boat: Keep in mind, police will be on the water as well. APD said they are staying consistent with how they run their No Refusal weekends.

“Instead of changing it every time and trying to reinvent the wheel, we are putting it all together being consistent — making sure people out there understand that, ‘Hey, we need to slow down,’” said APD Lt. Robert Richmand. “I think consistency is what really gets people changing their behaviors.”

Austin police will also be out in force with the first University of Texas home football game happening Saturday night. Tailgaters can expect a few changes this year, especially along Trinity and Red River streets as the construction for the new Dell Medical School shuts down streets, sidewalks and parks. A barrier along Trinity Street blocks off an entire length of sidewalk from 15th to MLK streets, and Red River Street will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Centennial Park is also no longer there, with the construction and lots of parking spaces are blocked off by construction cones and vehicles.

“Some of the spots that were in place south of the Erwin Center have been moved north of the Erwin Center. We still have our campus garages available, and obviously the state garages are open on game day as well,” said Gary Susswein, director of UT Austin Media Relations. “But we really encourage fans who are able to, to take the shuttle buses.”

That shuttle can be picked up at Barton Creek Square Mall or the UT Intermural Fields. It drops passengers off on campus. Kickoff Saturday is at 7p.m.

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