ABILENE — The Abilene Police Department released results of its participation in the Texas Department of Transportation's Holiday STEP program, held Dec. 14, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2019.
STEP stands for Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and allowed the APD to look specifically for impaired drivers. During its reporting period, the Abilene Police Department made 61 contacts, 17 citations and one arrest. A total of 28 grant hours were worked.
During the enforcement period, APD deployed dedicated patrols on Abilene streets with the purpose of contacting impaired drivers. The patrols consisted of officers working in an overtime capacity and were dedicated to the detection and apprehension of impaired drivers and other traffic offenses. The effort was funded by a grant in partnership with TxDOT.
In a press release from the APD in early December, the department said drivers have many alternatives to driving while intoxicated.
"They can call a cab, ask a friend or a family member for a ride, hand their keys to a designated driver or simply stay put until they sober up. They also can take advantage of TxDOT’s website SoberRides.org, which lists ride options in areas throughout Texas," the release said.
Convicted first-time driving while intoxicated offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver license for up to a year and serve as many as 180 days in jail. Other consequences associated with a DWI arrest and conviction can add up to as much as $17,000 or more for bail, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes, vehicle insurance increases and other expenses.