Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


July 3, 2014

Don’t lose your freedom on 4th

Police urge folks celebrating holiday weekend to follow laws

JACKSONVILLE — Fourth of July is a day to celebrate America's freedom. However, folks should obey the laws during while celebrating, or it could mean serious penalties.

“Unfortunately, during the fourth, officers respond mostly to shots fired calls and reports of fireworks being discharged in the city limits,” said Sgt. Daniel Franklin of the Jacksonville Police Department. "Obviously, discharging a weapon inside the city limits is not legal, and if certain circumstances exist, this could carry a charge up to a Class A misdemeanor.”

Franklin said anyone found with fireworks could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, and all fireworks will be seized.

“The Police Department will be in full force and will be strenuously enforcing the laws and ordinances regarding fireworks and any shots being fired inside the city limits,” he said.

Franklin also said people who fire guns to celebrate may not realize that the bullets come down with the same force as they are shot up into the air.

“These falling bullets are just as dangerous coming down and should be considered

extremely dangerous,” he said.

Jacksonville officers will also be patrolling Lake Jacksonville during the holiday weekend to enforce city ordinances.

On the roadway, The Department of Public Safety plans to increase patrols  during the Fourth of July weekend, through Monday, July 7.

Troopers will focus DWI patrols in high-risk locations at times when alcohol-related crashes are most frequent, according to a press release. State statistics report that someone is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related crash about every 20 minutes in Texas, the release said.

“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,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “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.”

The increased patrols that target impaired driving are funded through a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). During the 2013 July 4th enforcement effort, DPS troopers made 1,124 DWI arrests, and 173 of those arrests were the direct result of the increased patrols. DPS enforcement 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 during this period.

For some alternative transportation options, visit www.SoberRides.org.


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