Houston officials cracking down on DWI, gunfire, fireworks on New Year's Eve

HOUSTON – The countdown has begun but before you ring in the new year city officials have a couple of reminders for your festive spirit.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said celebratory gunfire is becoming a problem in the city with police investigating 1,500 calls last New Year’s Eve.

“We simply want to give people forewarning, we want to give you notice OK. Do not engage in celebratory gunfire in Houston,” Turner said, “What goes up, must come down.” 

City officials warn people against the illegal use of fireworks.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena says anyone caught using fireworks in the city could face a hefty fine.

“The fine ranges from $500 to $2,000 dollars per incident. Every year we respond to a number of injuries,” Pena said.

 For violators, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says his officers will be out in full force.

“Unmarked units specifically tasked with responding to gunfire and reports of fireworks,” Acevedo said. 
HPD is expected to make at least 5,000 DWI arrests and will enforce the no refusal weekend. 

Acevedo said his department will also be running a maximum enforcement effort to stop drunken drivers. He said that while the number of fatalities caused by drunken drivers in Houston has decreased in recent years, there is still more work to be done.

“We will not tolerate drinking and driving,” Acevedo said.

The holiday weekend is considered a no-refusal weekend, which means drivers who officers believe show signs of intoxication during a traffic stop must provide a breath or blood sample for testing. If the driver refuses, a warrant will be issued requiring the sample be collected.

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