The Dallas Morning News Crime Blog ran a story recently about stepped up DWI enforcement for a holiday weekend:

The message: If you drink and drive during the Labor Day holiday, you will go to jail.

That’s the word from local law enforcement and the Texas Department of Transportation which launched its anti-drunk driving campaign in the Dallas/Fort Worth area Friday morning…

"Drunk driving is a serious issue, and we intend to come down especially hard on drunk drivers during the two weeks leading up to Labor Day holiday," said North Richland Hills police Sgt. Neal Maranto. "If you are drinking and driving, you will be pulled over and you will be arrested.”

Two commenters immediately noticed the substitution of “drinking and driving” for “DWI”. (They are not the same thing.)

Posted by TexasYellowDog @ 4:33 PM Sat, Aug 22, 2009

"If you drink and drive during the Labor Day holiday, you will go to jail."

Why’s that? Drinking and driving aren’t illegal. Do the cops get to make up new laws because it’s a holiday?


Posted by retry @ 10:21 PM Sat, Aug 22, 2009

…also- as YellowDog correctly points out, there is a HUGE difference between "Drinking and Driving" and "Driving While Intoxicated."

DWI is illegal. Drinking and driving is not. Confusing these two does not help anyone.

I don’t begrudge the police spokesperson trying to discourage DWI or drinking/driving, although the second is not always unlawful. But these two comments from public readers show why conflating the two is ineffective, possibly even counterproductive.

When you obviously lie to folks about part of your message, the truthful parts are more likely to be ignored. Then again, DWI lawyers might tell you that the police are inadvertently being truthful; that is, they do indeed arrest everyone who drives with an odor of alcohol on their breath, even though that is not against the law. It’s just a bad idea.

  • Very good info ! Thank you ! See all Austin DWI Lawyers List on

  • It is true. One or maybe two drinks and then driving could result in a BAC of under .08. I guess whatever it takes to scare people out of driving drunk.

  • The cops do the same in Colorado. It is not illegal to drink and drive.

  • The District Attorney’s Office along with our local police agenices extened the holiday DWI enforcement for the entire month of December and into the New Year.

  • I agree with the comments to an extent, but do the ends justify the means?

  • I know this is an old post, but I was just discussing today how the DPS tries to taint public perception, often by bending the truth.

    You may notice that there are several billboards around town populated with the most recent DPS campaigns. I think the current one is about installing infant car seats properly. Anyway, several months ago the campaign was “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” Well, it’s not, and it’s an insult that the powers that be would try to manipulate reality, even if the ends are admirable.

    If buzzed driving is drunk driving, then I may be drunk driving to work after my 3rd cup of coffee. Or after I run a few miles and I’m giddy with endorphines. A pleasurable sensation does not equal impairment. Just my two cents.

  • Janet Wilkes

    I got a DUI last April.The officer that arrested me said my purse smelled my purse and said he saw all these drugs. I have an autoimmune disease (Systemic Lupus).Aside from the expected feeling that I cannot do this. My muscles, joints fatigue I began to have seizures.They are like massive convulsions which cause retrograde amnesia. I can also stay unconsious for over a week. I also take hydrocodone for Pain. I am not functional without it. I don’t take them when I have to be some where. Like most meds it could still show up in my system. This idiot said it was illegal to drive with a seizure This is not true. Even he did not give me a breath test. He said if I would’t voluntere to take a blood test he would wait there for a warrant. I also have compression fractures which limits the amount of time I can stand and walk the line. He put cuffs on me and took me barefooted through a hospital. I was not marandized and they refused to give me medication. In short, If you drive in the Denton area-watch out. Cooperation does not mean anything to them. Know your actual laws before this corrupt ruins your life. I am not going to wait on them.