DPS increases DWI patrols

With Saint Patrick's Day upon us and spring breakers letting loose, the Department of Public Safety has increased the DWI patrol units on the streets.

Through the Federal Highway, TxDOT gave Texas DPS a grant to boost patrol units from March 7 through March 23.

Trooper Chris Ray said most of the traffic violations this time of year have come from travelers driving through Amarillo, but there have been some DWI arrests.

"A lot of our spring break traffic comes from Dallas going to Colorado and New Mexico to travel into the mountains for skiing," Ray said. "So most of ours is travel related, but we did get some DWIs so far."

Ray said last year there were more than 1,000 DWI arrests across Texas. About 226 of those were a direct result of the federal grant.

A DWI can cost more than $10,000, so Ray said to call a cab or designated driver if you've had too much to drink.

He also said sober drivers should take precautions because intoxicated drivers usually find a way to get behind the wheel. He says to know your route, get plenty of rest, make sure your car is in top shape, stay off your cell phone and inform someone of where you're going.