OHP summer program targets impaired drivers around Lake Texoma

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MARSHALL COUNTY, OK -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, along with Marshall county law enforcement, have started a summer program targeting impaired drivers around Lake Texoma.

OHP says as activity increases around Lake Texoma in Marshall county during the summer, so do DUI related crashes and arrests.

"You know, it's pretty clear that there's an impaired driving problem down there. So what we're doing is we're working with the law enforcement agencies: the Madill police, the Kingston police, and the Marshall county sheriff to launch a program called 'Lake Texoma: a hundred days and nights of summer,'" said Captain Ronnie Hampton with OHP Troop F.
Hampton says the program, which includes license checkpoints and extra troopers, is focused on county roads that lead to and from the lake.

Hampton said, "We ran a multi-agency operation down there on Memorial Day weekend, and within about an hour we arrested 6 DUI's just at one checkpoint."

Hampton says in the past 10 years, there have been 174 crashes caused by impaired driving on Marshall county roads that access the lake and 5 people have been killed.

"There's all types of excuses that people make. But the most important thing is, is once you know you're buzzed, you don't need to be behind the wheel of a car," said Hampton.

Floyd Vanderburg, who often goes fishing out on Lake Texoma,
says he's on board with the initiative, to make the area a safer place.

"Oh I think it's the best thing to ever happen to any city. We need all the law enforcement we can have," said Vanderburg.

"We want everyone to enjoy the lake. We welcome everyone. We want everyone to have a good time," says Marshall county sheriff, Ed Kent.
Kent says while they don't want to discourage anyone from coming to Lake Texoma, the key is enjoying it responsibly.

"We want to be courteous and respectful of the other people and of course drinking and driving is totally uncalled for," said Kent.

Captain Hampton says, drivers that are even slightly impaired should wait before completely sober, or call a friend for a ride, before getting behind the wheel and possibly injuring themselves or others.

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