By Erin Jones

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – As you head to your holiday destinations, DPS is working overtime to try and keep you and your loved ones safe. Their “Operation Care” initiative launched today.

(Credit: Texas Department of Public Safety/Facebook)

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Troopers will be looking for people who are speeding, not wearing their seatbelts and driving intoxicated, but they’re also asking everyone to do their part.

As Emily Estrada arrives in North Texas to spend time with her family during the holidays, extra DPS troopers are patrolling the highways.

“I think it’s very helpful,” she said. “I know driving over here the roads were really, really bad.”

“Every trooper is required to work so we have a full staff in the state of Texas,” DPS’ Josue DeLaCerda said.

One of the main things they’re looking for is drinking and driving. Last year, more than 900 people were killed in accidents where the driver was under the influence, accounting for 25% of the total number of people killed in traffic accidents in Texas in 2020 according to TxDOT.

“If you’re going to have any alcoholic beverages, whether it’s one or two, we recommend that you don’t get behind the wheel,” DeLaCerda said.

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DPS will have increased enforcement now through January 2nd.

The Arlington, Dallas, Garland and Plano Police Departments also launching similar city initiatives.

“Folks tend to get a little happy with a little booze around the holidays, so it will be nice to have extra eyes out,” driver Dianna Slaton said.

Both Dallas and Tarrant County are “no refusal” year-round, which means if you’re pulled over for suspected impaired driving and refuse to take a breath test, you‘ll be subject to a court-ordered one.

Law enforcement is urging everyone to make smart decisions this holiday season.

“It’s just not worth it,” driver Sean Mahaney said. “You got Uber, you got Lyft, friends and family that can come get you.”

“If you’re going to drink, be smart about it. Don’t drive,” Estrada said.

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There are free, safe rides available this holiday season as well. DART, for example, is offering free rides on New Year’s Eve.

Erin Jones