It is that time of year again, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in full swing. While attendance numbers are slightly down from last year the event brings plenty of folks to the Houston area. There is something here for everyone; from headliner concerts by artists like Demi Lovato, Blake Shelton and Pit Bull to educational and cultural events. Let’s not forget the most important venues, the livestock shows, horse shows and rodeo action.
It’s a fun time for everyone and gives an economic boost to Harris County businesses. However; it also brings an increase in drunk driving arrests. This year those numbers will probably increase since St. Patrick’s Day and spring break falling during the rodeo.
In response, the Houston Police Department's Traffic Enforcement Division, the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety announced a joint initiative targeting drunk driving. They hope the use of public education and enhanced enforcement of offenses will reduce the number of drunk driving incidents (see the press conference here). As I also suggest, they are urging individuals to make designated driver or alternative transportation arrangements in advance. A DWI arrest can cost you financially and become a terrible burden if you are an out of town visitor. You may have to travel back and forth for court dates and other obligations incurring travel as well as legal fees.
If you plan to visit the rodeo it really is a good time and if you are an out of town visitor, welcome. But take my advice and that of Texas law enforcement, plan ahead if you plan to drink and you won’t run the risk of ruining your good times.