Police Out in Full Force Keeping Watch for New Year's Eve Drunk Drivers

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- It's one of the biggest party nights of the year and local law enforcement will be in full force patrolling the streets making sure everyone is obeying the rules. On Monday evening, Midland Police sent out a warning for those who think they can drive drunk.

Sitting in the back seat of a patrol unit will not be the best way to start off 2013, as Midland PD will be keeping a very close eye out for those driving under the influence. There's going to be over a dozen patrols on the streets in Midland. Five or six of them are going to be specifically looking for drunk drivers.

"The different shifts will have two to three people that are assigned to just specifically DWI enforcement. What they're doing is they're looking for the people that are intoxicated, that are operating a motor vehicle," Traffic Sergeant, Jim Crouse, said.

Those officers who are only looking for drunk drivers are part of the department's, DWI Step Program, its a grant they received from the Texas Department of Transportation. With the increase of motorists in the Permian Basin, keeping those drunk drivers off the streets is paramount.

"The main focus that we want to keep everyone aware of, is that you have a choice not to drive and so just ask someone to give you a ride home, or a designated driver, a driver that could drive you around if you have to get out," Crouse said.

Midland Police will be up all night enforcing the law and will be watching for warning signs.

"Swerving is a good sign, speeding, driving with your bright lights on," Crouse said. "We are asking all drivers that are going to be on the road tonight to be cognizant of your driving and watch for other people as well."

First time offenders are slapped with a first class misdemeanor along with a fine determined by a judge. Police say the choice people make by driving drunk could cost them time in the slammer or even worse, kill someone.