HOUSTON – It's a problem that's been plaguing the Houston metro area for quite some time. Accidents and deaths caused by intoxicated drivers. In fact, statistics in several studies and reports show we lead the country in those categories.
"We have been at the top for DWI fatalities nationwide for too long," said Constable Alan Rosen from Harris County Precinct One,"We all play a role."
Just this week two HPD officers were critically injured when investigators say they were hit nearly head-on by a drunken driver who recorded himself drinking a number of hours before the crash.
And just last week -- a young mother was killed in the city of South Houston by an alleged drunken 19-year-old who, according was served alcohol by bar employees despite being underage.
To reduce the problem, law officers like Rosen say there needs to be a community effort.
"Call law enforcement," Rosen advises. "Tell the manager of that bar or that restaurant, 'Hey you have somebody that's about to leave your establishment that clearly should not be leaving it and getting into a vehicle.'"
In a concerted attempt to prevent as many traffic deaths as possible this upcoming New Year's weekend -- officers from several different agencies will join forces to track down drunken drivers across the area. Anyone suspected of driving drunk will have all but no choice to submit to a test.
"We have a prosecutor, a phlebotomist," Rosen says. "We have a judge who's gonna sign warrants of those that don't submit to giving us a specimen."
Law officers say one of the most important things people can do is if they plan to drink is either have a designated driver or use a cab or ride-sharing service to get home or to other locations.