The holiday season is meant to be spent with family and friends, but according to law enforcement officials, it can also be one of the most dangerous times of the year starting the night before Thanksgiving.
“Over the last few years, it’s actually been coined as ‘Blackout Wednesday,’” said chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Sean Teare. “That refers to the level of intoxication that some people decide to get on this day.”
Teare said it’s for that reason that law enforcement agencies will be out in full force.
“We’re aware of it, we have additional units out there today,” he said. “Specifically, we have an additional prosecutor, thanks to a grant from TxDOT who’s going to be writing blood search warrants.”
The Harris County DA’S office said they’ve already accepted 121 DWI charges just in the past three days.
“We’ll have additional units posted up in places, as I mentioned, the Washington Avenues, the Richmond strip, Midtown, and all of those places where more bars equal more drunk people,” he added.
Teare said the decision to drink and drive can be life-changing and result in deadly consequences.
KPRC 2 spoke with Lindsay Locke, a mother of two who lost her eldest daughter during an alleged DWI crash in April.
“To my understanding, there was an intoxicated driver driving the wrong way down the Westpark Tollway and there was a head-on collision with the vehicle my daughter was in,” said Locke.
Locke said 19-year-old Jaelyn Chapman was an aspiring singer and loving daughter.
“She was so full of life and she was funny. You couldn’t help but laugh or smile when you were around her,” said Locke.
Locke is asking anyone planning to drink during the holiday break to be responsible and have a plan. She said she’s hopeful no other parent will have to endure the same pain forced on her family.
“It’s just been devastating dealing with the loss. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, and approaching the holidays, it’s just that much harder,” Locke said.