iluna@valleytowncrier.com

EDINBURG – Memorial Day Weekend is a holiday often celebrated with family and friends to remember the military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

However, this holiday spikes every year in numbers of car crash accidents and fatalities.

Texas alone is the leading state in numbers for those accidents and fatalities, totaling 3,642 in 2018.

Edinburg PD reminded its citizens and travelers to obey the speed limit, avoid distracted driving and more importantly – do not drink and drive.

“The only cities in the Rio Grande Valley that are non-refusal are Alton and Edinburg,” said Arielle Benedict, Public Information Officer for Edinburg PD. “What that means is that if you are suspected of drinking and driving, you have to provide a sample either way. If you don’t blow, the judge will write a warrant to get your sample – you have to provide either way.”

Officer Benedict shares that Memorial Day Weekend is the number one ranked holiday with the most car crash fatalities according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Those numbers include:

• 40% drunk driving

• 30% speeding

• 33% distracted

Most car accidents and fatalities are caused by a one-vehicle distraction.

She also advises beachgoers traveling to South Padre Island to be aware of water conditions.

“On the beach there are flags and plaques that will warn you the conditions of the water and we do have some people still get in the water when it is unsafe, but we highly encourage people not to do it,” Benedict said. “Also if you are going boating you should never operate a boat when drinking. It is the same concept as driving a vehicle and you will get a DWI.”

Edinburg PD will double its officers this holiday weekend for the safety of its citizens. For non-emergencies call 956-289-7700. For emergencies call 9-1-1.