An estimated 2.5 million Texans will hit the highways for the July Fourth holiday weekend, according to AAA.

In an effort to keep motorists safe over the holiday weekend, the Texas Department of Public Safety is increasing DWI patrols through Monday. The department began to heighten its number of patrols Friday focusing on “high-risk” locations at times when alcohol-related crashes are most frequent.

“As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, DPS urges Texans to do their part to help keep our roadways safe during the holiday,” Steven McCraw, DPS director, said in a news release. “Individuals should always designate a sober driver or find other means of transportation if they plan to drink alcohol. During the holiday, DPS troopers will be performing increased patrols aimed at protecting all travelers and removing dangerous drivers from the road.”

About every 20 minutes, someone in Texas is killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash, according to the department’s news release.

Last year during the July Fourth holiday, troopers arrested 1,124 people for DWI, with 173 of those arrests from increased patrols, according to DPS. The increased patrols also resulted in 720 fugitive arrests, 602 felony arrests, more than 15,700 speeding citations and more than 2,400 seat belt/child safety seat citations.

Motorists spend more time traveling throughout the nation during the summer months, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

With more people on the roadways, TxDOT recommends drivers obey posted speed limits and drive appropriately in various conditions — including weather and work zones — keeping a safe distance behind vehicles, driving with headlights on to ensure visibility and watching for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.

Motorists also should plan for inclement weather with a 20 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The high for Independence Day is expected to be 93 degrees with southeast winds at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night is forecast to be mostly cloudy with a low of 71.

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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