It's the start of the Labor Day weekend and motorists across Central Texas are hitting the roads. And they're already starting to get busy, especially on I-35.
Drivers are hitting the road but also out there are officers. They're looking for drunk drivers, speeders and even those who are not wearing seatbelts.
Matthew Thies is one of the many who tried to avoid the rush. He and his family are on a 2,000 mile journey and has seen hurried drivers the whole way. "We try to stick to the speed limit as much as possible. We just let them drive past us since we're like hey, if they get caught we don't have to pay their speed ticket," says Matthew Thies.
With a national holiday comes celebration and usually drinking. But the Texas Department of Public Safety hopes those drinking stay off the roads. "We want you to get a designated driver or a cab or have a plan in place. To where if you're going to drink to night or any time this weekend, have somebody come get you," says Trooper D.L. Wilson, with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
34% of fatal crashes involving alcohol happen in the summer. 366 people died during that time last year aside from drinking and driving, troopers have a warning for tired drivers. "Fatigued drivers can be just as bad as impaired drivers. So, if you're fatigued and fall asleep during your driving episode, then you're going to have a serious crash," says Trooper Wilson.
As for Matthew, the holiday just means having to be even more careful, and says he can't wait to cross the finish line."It's hard on the kids and everything, I'm sure we'll all be happy to get to our destination and then relax for a few days," says Thies.
Part of the reason for the extra patrol is that last year more than 2,000 people were arrested for drunk driving during the Labor Day weekend. A DWI can cost a driver around $17,000.
Reporter: Tania Ortega
Photographer: Jordan Bontke