Tag Archives: Austin Police

VisionZero: Remembering Is Not Enough

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Lined up in a half circle outside City Hall on Nov. 19, the more than 60 pairs of shoes represented the lives lost on Austin roads this year. Local leaders and transportation safety advocates joined with the family members of those lost for Vision Zero ATX’s third annual Day of Remembrance Vigil – to call for a regional approach to address the dangerous state of Central Texas roads. Austin Police Chaplain Rick Randall, who lost his son in a pedestrian accident more than a decade ago, delivered the opening prayer: “Our prayer tonight, God, is that not one other person would have to be part of this fraternity.” Continue reading

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Opinion: Corona partnership with University of Texas misguided and may lead to underage drinking

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“Earlier this year, the University of Texas Athletics Department announced its new partnership with Corona Extra, making the beer an official sponsor of the Texas Longhorns. Many people view drinking as a traditional part of the college experience, but often ignore the potential consequences of promoting alcohol on campus. A July 12 column by Emma Berdanier outlined some of the potential pitfalls of a partnership with Corona Extra, and there is substantial evidence that the partnership between the University of Texas and Corona Extra is misguided, writes Dr. Sachin Kamble, Daily Texas Opinion Page (Sept. 24, 2017). The vast majority of undergraduates are underage, which makes them susceptible to the risky behaviors and negative consequences that come with higher alcohol consumption. Continue reading

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How effective is your state at combating drunken driving? MADD shares its ratings in a new report.

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Texas gets a 2.5 ranking in MADD’s 1 to 5 survey. Mississippi and Maryland ranks among the best states when it comes to enacting laws against drunken driving. MADD’s criteria include using sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols; immediately suspending licenses; penalizing drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test; and passing laws that impose additional penalties on drunk drivers who had a child in the car with them at the time. Continue reading

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Austin alcohol sales drop post Uber and Lyft

Something very rare happened in Austin this May 2016: alcohol sales dropped, according to the Texas Comptroller. While there is no direct explanation for the two percent drop in sales from this time last year, some bartenders and bar owners in Austin think it may have something to do with ridesharing. Specifically, since Uber and Lyft left Austin in the beginning of May. Continue reading

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Intoxicated Drivers Killed 39 People in Austin Last Year. So How Do We Stop Them?

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In a report where researchers considered what most effectively reduces DWIs, enforcement tops the list. But many of the enforcement tactics praised by these researchers are out of the hands of Austin policymakers. For example, these researchers consider sobriety checkpoints to be one of the most effective methods of discouraging DWIs. But in Texas, checkpoints are illegal under state law. The researchers also recommend lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to.05 – something only state lawmakers could do. Continue reading

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Austin bar faces lawsuit over 2014 SXSW crash, report says

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An Austin bar is being sued for its alleged role in serving alcohol to Rashad Owens before he got into his car and, while fleeing a traffic stop, went on deadly vehicular rampage that killed four people during South By Southwest (SXSW) in 2014. Club 1808 has been named as an additional defendant in a lawsuit first filed in December 2014. The tragedy occurred on Red River Street during SXSW 2014 after a car drove through a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, killing four. Owens was convicted last year (2015) of murder charges related to the incident. He now faces life in prison. Continue reading

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Early 2016 traffic deaths are occurring throughout Greater Austin region; VisionZero Taskforce talks about solutions

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It’s already a deadly year on Austin-area roadways with three local traffic deaths Monday. Austin itself set a record in 2015 with 102 traffic fatalities. Austin is getting bigger. Not the city-limits but the amount of sprawl between the city and surrounding communities. Traffic experts say the more sprawling a metro area is, the more traffic deaths reported. The local VisionZero Task Force said collecting traffic data, targeting education and more aggressive enforcement and prosecution are expected to be part of an action plan. Continue reading

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APD & TABC cite 84 minors for possession of Fake ID during operation at Austin bars

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84 underage adults received citations for using fake IDs as Austin Police Department’s Downtown Command partnered up with the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission to crack down on underage drinking. Operation Fake Out hit the bars Thursday night. Many minors lost their fake IDs this past week. APD says they seized 90 fake IDs. Continue reading

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Downtown Austin Sobriety center could possibly move into Medical Examiner’s Facility

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A group made up of city and county staff suggests converting the current Travis County Medical Examiner facility into a sobriety center. Last year, city and county officials created the Austin-Travis County Intergovernmental Working Group to develop a plan for a potential sobriety center. The sobriety centers, also known as “drunk tanks,” are places to secure publicly intoxicated people deemed a danger to themselves or others; it could also offer support and encourage treatment for alcoholism. It’s also seen as an alternative to jail for minor public intoxication offenses. Continue reading

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Parents of teen killed file lawsuit against 20-year old driver of June fatal crash in West Austin

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The parents of a 19-year-old man killed in a crash in June have filed a lawsuit blaming the driver, 20-year-old Kenneth Richmond, who was charged by Austin Police with intoxicated manslaughter. The lawsuit claims Richmond and his father, Kip Alan Richmond, were negligent. The Lopitakwongs blame Richmond for consuming alcohol while underage, driving while intoxicated and failing to control his car. Continue reading

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Austin police chief speak of record fatality crashes; encourages parents to warn children of drinking and driving

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After lastest DWI crash on local streets, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is asking parents to talk with their children to not only discourage them from drinking and driving, but to also explain the dangers of getting in a car with a drunk driver. He encouraged people to call the police if they see bartenders over-serving customers and if they see drunk drivers on the road. Continue reading

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Underage drinking a “huge problem” in downtown, say Austin police; now cops are investigating if 20-year-old murder suspect may have been served alcohol on 4th Street

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Bryan Canchola is already in a lot of trouble. The 20 year old is accused of murdering his teenage boyfriend — Stephen Sylvester — after a night out on the town. “Obviously there was a homicide and it could’ve involved drinking at this time we’re waiting on the findings of APD to determine if an investigation into any establishments downtown are warranted,” said Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission spokesman Chris Porter.

Shortly before the deadly altercation, murder suspect Brian Canchola, 20, said he and his roommate, 18-year old Stephen Sylvester had been out on 4th Street in downtown Austin drinking all night. Now Austin Police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents are investigating if underage drinking may have played a role in the incident. Austin Police say they have underage drinking is a “huge problem” downtown. Continue reading

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Austin Police new initiative targets Sixth Street bars that over-serve drinkers leading to DWIs, binge drinking, assaults and violence

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Austin police said they have seen an increase in overly-intoxicated people, which leads to disturbances and DWI crashes and binge drinking. And the trend has Austin police searching for a way to change drinkers’ behavior.The operation even found that some bars promote excessive drinking, which authorities said they will not put up with. That is why Austin Police Department launched Operation Over-serve. Continue reading

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Austin Police target Downtown Austin bars, liquor stores that overserve alcohol to patrons and underage drinkers

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Austin Police have increased their targeting of bars and liquor stores they suspect are overserving alcohol and providing alcohol to underage drinkers in downtown Austin. Hundreds of people visit Sixth Street every weekend to have fun, but lately police officers have noticed many of them are becoming victims of crime as the bars are closing. After a spike in robberies, assaults and even sexual assaults in recent weeks, investigators found that many victims as well as offenders were overly intoxicated with alcohol. Continue reading

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Austin Police Chief Acevedo wants to crack down on “overserving” of alcohol at downtown Sixth Street bars

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Is Austin alcohol problem related to bars “over-serving” of alcohol? Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says, “If you’re over serving and being irresponsible we are going to identify that fact and we’re developing every legal strategy to hold you accountable,” added Acevedo. Acevedo calls it a multi-layered approach to solving Austin’s alcohol problem. Austin’s top cop is fed up with what he sees as an overserving issue at many bars on 6th Street. “Well we all know the consumption of alcohol and the over consumption of alcohol and or drugs or both people make poor choices,” the APD Chief said during a recent news conference. Continue reading

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Austin Could See Triple-Digit Traffic Fatalities in 2015

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Austin is seeing a concerning spike in the number of traffic fatalities in 2015. So far there have been 42 traffic fatalities. That’s nearly twice the 27 fatalities there were as of June 1, 2014. What the city is experiencing right now should be considered a public health crisis, spokesman says. Continue reading

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72 fake IDs found, minors ticketed as undercover Austin Police checking for fake IDs in downtown Austin

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An undercover sting involving APD and the TABC in downtown Austin ended with approximately 72 people cited on Thursday night alone. Officers stand next to bouncers to check IDs that appear to be false. The officer will then identify himself if the ID is fake, and ask the person how old they are. If someone admits they are underage, they are escorted to a central citation area off Sixth Street and receive a Class C Misdemeanor ticket. If someone continues to lie about their age and the ID is proven to be false, officers can then issue a ticket for Failure to Identify, a Class B Misdemeanor. The overall goal is to keep roads safer and cut down on crime. Continue reading

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Austin Police ticket 120 for using Fake IDs in downtown Austin to enter bars and clubs; 2 arrested for forgery

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We applaud APD in their effort to reduce underage drinking in Downtown Austin. In past months APD ticketed over 120 minors attempting to us fake IDs to enter bars/clubs in the entertainment district intending to drink alcohol beverages. The APD unit received confidential information about a subject living near the UT campus that was manufacturing counterfeit identification cards from different states and selling them to students or anyone willing to spend $60 – $200. The Texas Department of Public Safety assisted during this operation. Both subjects have been charged with Forgery, a 3rd Degree Felony having reported manufactured and sold hundreds of fictitious state identification cards across the state. Continue reading

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Local family dealing with death of their 20-year-old daughter following drunk driving crash in North Austin

April 17, 2015 – AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin family is coping with their daughter’s death after she died Sunday night in a crash involving a 26-year-old man who was charged with intoxication manslaughter. Police says Shawn Amende ran a red … Continue reading

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Austin’s Kathie Tovo writes that underage drinking is not part of city’s lifestyle; encourages parents to talk to their children about dangers & consequences of underage drinking

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By Kathie Tovo — “For those of us who live in Austin and for many who visit, Austin has a lot to offer – live music, great outdoor entertainment and plenty of trails and parks to enjoy with our families. However, Austin is also quickly earning a reputation as a city where alcohol is plentiful and easily accessible at many of the events hosted here. But are we sending the right message to our children — that ours is a culture that includes underage drinking as a part of our city’s lifestyle? As a public servant who loves this city and as Austin’s mayor pro tem, I truly hope not.” Continue reading

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