HOUSTON - As is often the case, the long holiday weekend led to a major spike in impaired drivers on Houston highways.
Dozens of arrests were made after Harris County beefed up its patrols as part of its "No Refusal Weekend."
One drunken driver sped through a red light while going roughly 80 mph on Westheimer Road on Sunday night. Police said the driver, a man, rammed right into a vehicle that was transporting a woman home from work. Police said the man was taken to a hospital and charged with intoxication assault. The woman remains at the hospital in critical condition.
The man was just one of the 245 drivers charged with drunken driving over the holiday weekend in Harris County, which is up from 222 arrests made around this time in 2018 and 223 arrests over the holiday weekend in 2017.
Of the 245 busted this year, 182 were first-time offenders and eight of those drivers were accused of driving while intoxicated with children in the car, deputies said.
Harris County District Attorney's Office of Vehicular Crimes Chief Sean Teare said roadways in the county remain some of the most dangerous in the country.
"The more enforcement we have out there, the more lives we save. There's no question any one of those 245 people arrested could have easily killed someone," Teare said.
He said driving drunk is a selfish crime -- the perpetrators put everyone at risk. And with ride-sharing options available today, he says there is absolutely no excuse to get behind the wheel intoxicated.
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