Lufkin man arrested for driving drunk with child; authorities cracking down

Efrain Santana mug shot. Source: Angelina County Jail.
Efrain Santana mug shot. Source: Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you're drinking and driving, law enforcement says expect flashing red and blue lights right there behind you.

"During the summer it seems like DWIs will tend to increase," said DPS Trooper Greg Sanches.

DPS and TxDOT are teaming up to launch a DWI crackdown. TxDOT spokesperson Kathi White says it's a nationwide effort.

"So don't think just because you're in your little town that you won't get caught and go to jail. It's not just about the major highways, U.S. 59 and 69. It's right here in your hometown," said White.

The campaign is all about choosing your ride.

"You can call a cab, call a friend, you know just designate a driver or law enforcement will take you for free," said White.

Perhaps the costliest ride of your life. DWI fines can soar up to $15,000. On top of that, DPS Spokesperson Greg Sanches says the punishment has stiffened.

"There's really tough penalties now because if you have a child in the car that's under 15 that's a felony DWI," said Sanches.

The latest offender is Efrain Santana. Police caught him driving drunk Wednesday night at the intersection of East Denman Avenue and Esther Street. His 5-year-old son was a passenger in the truck. According to police, Santana was pulled over for not signaling a turn.

Police said Santana reeked of alcohol and at first denied he had been drinking when asked. According to the arrest affidavit, when police asked a second time Santana admitted to drinking two beers earlier in the day. Police said he then agreed to a field sobriety test and failed it.

"It concerns us as much as it does the public and that's one reason why the law has toughened to the point that it made it a felony when you're drinking and driving with a child," said Sanches.

Authorities will step-up patrols beginning August 20th through Labor Day. White says they're scouting for drunk drivers.

"Our main message is you drunk and drive, you're going to get caught, you're going to go to jail and have to pay a lot of money that you probably can't afford," said White.

Law enforcement hopes you make the right decision before you hit the road. Nearly 27-thousand car accidents in Texas are a result of drunk driving. TxDOT hopes their campaign will put a dent in that number.

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