The Sugar Land Police Department has announced it will conduct a special drunk driving enforcement initiative from May 18-31.

The enforcement initiative period, which includes Memorial Day weekend, is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant. Administered through the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the STEP grant provides overtime funds for enhanced DWI enforcement during holiday weekends when there is traditionally more alcohol-related traffic incidents, city officials said.

“Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is not worth the risk,” said Daryl Stroud, sergeant in SLPD’s traffic division. “You are putting your life and the lives of others on the line.

Those convicted of DWI offenses for the first time can face penalties that include fines up to $2,000, six months in jail and loss of driver’s license for up to a year.

The STEP grant also provides overtime for year-round speed compliance in targeted areas, and is an extra resource that does not affect SLPD’s normal operations. According to city officials, speeding continues to be the No. 1 contributing factor to accidents within the city. The department utilizes crash data, speed surveys and resident-supplied information to determine areas where additional enforcement might be needed.