PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

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August 30, 2012

DPS: Buckle up, drive sober this holiday weekend

— The Texas Department of Public Safety will have an increased number of state troopers on the roadways during the Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 through Sept. 3.

The troopers won’t be the law enforcement agency keeping an eye out for impaired drivers — officers in Mid and South Jefferson County will also be watching for impaired drivers.

Nederland Police Chief Darrell Bush, Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine, Groves City Marshal Jeff Wilmore and Port Arthur Police Maj. Raymond Clark said their respective departments will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.

Officials with DPS believe the high visibility of Texas State troopers is one of the single, most effective tools to reduce the number of traffic crashes and fatalities.

On a local and national level, the statistics for alcohol-related traffic fatalities and fatalities where occupants were not buckled up is alarming, according to a press release from DPS.

• In Texas, 1,259 motorists were killed in alcohol-related fatalities according to 2012 data from the National Highway Traffic safety Administration.

• An average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurs every 51 minutes

• In 2010, 6,652 of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher.

• In Texas, teen drivers have the highest incidence of unbuckled fatalities, according to the Texas Department of Transportation

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