Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garciais sounding off after a particularly deadly week on county roads, as nine people died in drunk-driving crashes over on eight-day period. Five family members in one vehicle were killed late Sunday night by a wrong-way drunk driver on the Sam Houston Parkway, and four people in a car were killed the previous Sunday by a drunk driver who ran a red light at Synott and Beechnut. "It pains me to think that two families have been completely wiped out for the most part," said Garcia at a Monday news conference. "They were not thinking anything about what they were to expect, they were just going about their daily lives."
Garcia used the news conference to call the public to action to prevent drunk driving crashes before they happen. "It is those irresponsible people who think that they can still drive after consuming alcoholic beverages, that we need everyone's help with," said the Sheriff. "Even if someone has had a small amount, whatever you think that amount may be, I ask you to please keep those individuals off the road." Sheriff Garcia encouraged friends or servers to spot possible drunk drivers, and stop them from getting behind the wheel or even submit an anonymous tip to law enforcement about a possible drunk driver.
The Sheriff also reminded of the importance of preventing DWI during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday period. Texas DPS, as well as local law enforcement including Houston Police, will have extra patrols on roadways and waterways now through July 7th to watch for DWI, BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) and other traffic violations. The goal is to prevent deadly crashes before they happen. Garcia noted that the drivers in these fatal crashes now find themselves as accused killers facing serious criminal charges simply because they used bad judgment. "If you were to talk to them today, I bet you that they would have thought things through a little differently," said Garcia. "But it's too late---people have died."