MADD, Area Police Partner For Increased Drunk Driving Enforcement

Alan Scaia
August 23, 2019 - 1:29 pm
MADD, Police Partner for Increased Drunk Driving Enforcement

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving has partnered with police departments across Texas for a drunk driving enforcement blitz this weekend. MADD calls the partnership, "Saturation Saturday."

"MADD is partnering with law enforcement agencies nationwide on a high-visibility crackdown," says the organization's Emma Dugas.

Dugas says someone is killed in a crash involving a drunk driver every 51 minutes across the United States; someone is injured every two minutes.

"The grim reality is you, your family or someone you know will probably be impacted by the tragedy of drunk driving at some point," she says.

MADD and police are running the enforcement operation this weekend to raise awareness before a spike in travel around Labor Day. MADD says about 235 departments across the country are dedicating at least one extra officer to drunk driving enforcement Saturday.

MADD made the announcement Friday at Irving police headquarters. Irving's police chief says the department's first line-of-duty death was 26 years ago when a drunk driver hit an officer.

"This event still weighs very heavy on the hearts and minds of every employee of the Irving Police Department," says Police Chief Jeff Spivey. "Glen [Holmes> and I worked the very same shift when I started my policing career. He had been a role model for me."

Spivey says Friday was also the 26th anniversary of the day his brother and a friend died in a drunk driving crash. He says his brother was driving drunk after leaving a party.

"I still remember the phone ringing, waking me from a deep slumber, as I had worked the previous night," Spivey says. "On the other end of that phone call was my mom. Her words still echo in my head as if it occurred yesterday. 'Jeff,' she said, 'Danny is no longer with us.' That phone call is forever a part of my life."

Spivey says he hopes "saturation patrols" can prevent similar phone calls. He says his brother's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, and he had two previous convictions for drunk driving.

"Every day across this country, a phone rings, waking someone out of a deep slumber as they try to struggle to understand what the voice on the other end of that phone call is trying to tell them," he says.

According to TxDOT, drunk driving was involved in 2,252 crashes in Dallas County last year, 1,502 crashes in Tarrant County, 598 crashes in Collin County and 528 crashes in Denton County.

Harris County led the state with 3,186 crashes involving a drunk driver.