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Driving reckless carries serious consequences, but on Sunday a new law goes into effect in Texas that ups the punishment for some fatality-related crashes.

House Bill 2502, which was authored by state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, requires a judge to include a minimum of 120 days of jail confinement when granting community supervision for the offense of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in the death of a person.

The new law also prevents that 120 days from being credited as jail time served if the offender receives a sentence of confinement.

HB 2502 goes into effect over Labor Day weekend when law enforcement agencies report increased incidents of reckless driving.

During last year’s holiday weekend in Texas, there were 328 crashes involving drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol. Those crashes killed eight people and seriously injured another 25.

As many Texans make travel plans to celebrate the remaining days of summer, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds them to make a plan for a sober ride before the festivities begin.

“The long weekend should be an opportunity to enjoy extra time with family and friends, rather than experience a senseless and preventable tragedy that ruins the lives of everyone involved because of drinking and driving,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said. “If you plan to drink alcohol this weekend, please plan ahead for a sober ride. It can save lives.”

While drivers under the influence of alcohol risk killing or seriously injuring themselves or others, they also face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license. For alternatives to drinking alcohol and driving, TxDOT offers the following tips:

• Designate a sober driver or calling someone for a sober ride home.

• Contact a cab or ride-share service.

• Use mass transit.

• Spend the night instead of leaving.

 

Party at the pump instead

According to GasBuddy, gasoline prices this Labor Day are set to be lower than last year for everyone.

“For now six straight weeks we’ve seen the national average price of gasoline decline, and after last week’s escalation in the trade battle between the U.S. and China, it’s possible that the streak continues longer than previously anticipated as oil markets react to the news, sending oil lower,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “With Labor Day around the corner, motorists will see the cheapest end to the summer since 2016, a great send-off to wrap up the summer driving season, but more good news likely lay ahead for motorists. 

“Gas prices will likely decline even more substantially starting in mid-September as most of the nation begins the transition back to cheaper winter gasoline starting September 16. Fall will bring plenty of falling gas prices, so long as there remains turmoil between the U.S. and China.”

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