Around every holiday that involves alcohol consumption – new year’s eve , christmas, the 4th of july, halloween, spring break, and now St. Patrick’s day – local police departments across Texas often make annoucements about stepped up DWI laws enforcement. See here, here, here, and here for just a handful of these countless notices. They make a big show of annoucing extra patrols, roadblocks, and other enforcement methods.
Drinking and driving is certainly a real problem here in Texas and nationwide. And there is no doubt that Texas has some tough DWI laws.
But is there any real evidence that these “get tough” announcements really make any difference?
On the other hand, programs that provide practical solutions instead of threats seem to be making a real difference. The Austin soberRide program offers free local cab rides for those who drink on these particular dates, within Harris County. They have provided over 2300 rides home since the program’s inception. These seems like a practical idea to really prevent drunk driving incidents instead of just talking about it.