Law enforcement gears up for heightened traffic enforcement during holidays
Montgomery County is set to become an even more hostile place toward drunken drivers.
Beginning Friday, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Shenandoah Police Department started heightened traffic enforcement until New Year’s Day under the Texas Department of Transportation’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program.
Under the program, TxDOT will reimburse participating local police departments for overtime accrued by their patrol officers while out on especially-assigned traffic enforcement shifts, with the goal of keeping drunk drivers off the roads and reducing the number of car crashes, which historically peaks during the busy holiday season.
“This is a great, positive program that helps keep our roads safe,” said Emily Black, TxDOT’s Houston District public information officer.
Throughout The Woodlands and the rest of the county, sheriff’s deputies will also be looking to proactively enforce intoxicated driving offenses, Specialist Thomas Smith said.
Officers during the peak holiday part of the season will be on the look out for speeding, failure to use seatbelts, violations at intersections, texting while driving and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. For all 16 patrol officers in the Shenandoah Police Department, the program means additional officers each shift patrolling the streets of the small city and along Interstate 45.
“We’re trying to make travel safer for people on the roadways,” Chief of Police Raymond Shaw said. “Drunk drivers’ chances of going to jail will way up the next two weeks.”
Drivers pulled over for drunk driving in Shenandoah go up a little bit each year, Shaw said, adding that the heightened traffic enforcement this year might contribute to slightly elevated numbers. The high visibility of officers should also work to deter any potential intoxicated drivers.
“People need to understand that when they’re drinking and going places, they need to have a plan and a ride,” Shaw said. “Don’t drink and drive or you can go to jail.”