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Officers stress holiday safety

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

Law enforcement agencies across Denton County are planning to keep a close watch on the roads and lakes this Memorial Day weekend.

Officials said they want drivers and boaters to have a fun holiday weekend, but also to keep themselves and others safe.

“It gets very dangerous during the holidays, and a mass presence of law enforcement on the streets and waterways is needed to ensure the safety of everyone,” said Johnny Peters, lake patrol deputy with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.

This weekend marks the first of several heavy enforcement patrols on county lakes this summer, officials said.

Jay Powell, a Lewisville police spokesman, said the department has been in talks with the county regarding lake safety.

Powell said the police department doesn’t own a boat. However, Peters said, the Lewisville Fire Department has one for medical purposes and will assist when needed.

Other agencies partnering in the lake patrol are the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Powell said that while the Lewisville department doesn’t have any special measures planned over the holiday, officers will be vigilant while on patrol, keeping a special eye out for any intoxication-related offenses.

Jon Stovall, spokesman for Carrollton police, agreed with the approach.

“We will always be alert to remove any impaired drivers from the roadways,” he said Wednesday.

Carrollton is the only agency in the county that has a no-refusal policy year-round. Drivers who are pulled over and suspected to be under the influence will have blood samples taken promptly.

Stovall said most people consent to have blood drawn voluntarily. Since the department started the policy in February, officers have had blood drawn from 179 drivers, he said.

In conjunction with Memorial Day weekend, Denton and Corinth police departments are taking part in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign that began earlier this week.

“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater,” said Corinth police Lt. Carrie West. “We want everyone to have a safe summer, but it requires an important step on the part of motorists — clicking that seat belt.”

Memorial Day weekend is known to many as their kickoff party for the summer. These parties, officials said, can lead to many people drinking too much.

“We just always want people to hand keys to friends or call a taxi if they plan to drink,” said Officer Ryan Grelle, a spokesman for Denton police.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.