Tag Archives: DPS

Is that a real Poncho, or is that a Sears Poncho?

With apologies to Frank Zappa, Red reports on the sad demise of State Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D – Eagle Pass).  A warrant for his arrest on felony drug charges was issued on Thursday.  Nevárez was apparently caught on surveillance footage at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport dropping an envelope filled with cocaine as he was leaving the airport.  It is unclear if the drop was intentional or accidental but unfortunately for Poncho, the envelope had his official House seal on it and contained about 2 ounces of coke.

On September 6, two Texas Department of Transportation employees found the envelope outside the special entrance to the airport that is used by state officials.  Who knew?  After DPS got involved, they reviewed the CCTV footage showing Poncho leaving the airport getting into the car of his chief of staff and dropping the envelope.

Frighteningly, Poncho chairs the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.  Soothingly, he announced last week he was retiring from the House.  And at least he has the cojones to admit he screwed up – big time.  According to  a statement released by Poncho, the news is correct.  “I do not have anyone to blame but myself. I accept this because it is true and it will help me get better.”


Arrive Alive – Drive 75 or 95 in the Left Lane

Red has been on the highway to hell (aka I-35 to Dallas) and other major and minor Texas roads quite a bit this summer.  Red has driven all over this  great country of ours, and Texans take a back seat to no one when it comes to overly aggressive highway maneuvering.  If you aint doing 95 in the left lane partner, you’d best get out of the way unless you like having some angry cowboy drinking a Bud Light in an F-250 pulling a trailer loaded with 2 horses, 6 goats, 5 bales of hay and his mother-in-law right on your ass.  And if you’re just doing 75 in the right lane, you’re going to be the last one back to Abilene.  Red just can’t remember the last time he saw someone pulled over by a DPS officer.  Red has seen a few on the road, but they just don’t seem interested in pulling over Billy Joe anymore unless he has reached triple digits.  Perhaps they are all policed out from chasing illegals down on the borderlands.

Apparently, someone is still getting ticketed however.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has posted a list of the counties where you are most likely to get bagged for speeding.  So speed read on brother because as they say – Hell aint half full yet.


DPS Issues Gang Update

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued its latest “Gang Update” on Monday August 31.  According to the DPS’  Texas Gang Threat Assessment, several Texas based gangs remain a major problem.  The report ranks gangs in order to determine which ones are the most dangerous.  Under the ranking system, Tier One gangs pose the biggest threat.  These include Tango Blast with 15,000 members, Texas Mexican Mafia with over 4,700 members, and Texas Syndicate with more than 3,400.

Speed on Brother, Hell Aint Half Full (of Texans) Yet.

Texas is the best place to speed in the US.  Anyone who has recently driven on the racetrack that is I-10 between Houston and San Antonio can testify to that fact.  Red was doing 85 in the right line recently and cars were blowing by in the left lane at speeds up to an estimated 105 mph. And why not drive like the proverbial bat released from Hades?  According to WOAI – the consequences of speeding are much less in Texas than in the rest of the country.  Red would argue that the chances of actually getting a speeding ticket in Texas are slim.  The DPS has been stretched to thin by Gov. Abbott (TP-Texas) sending them on a fool’s errand on the Texas border. Trying to enforce Texas law is weak tea compared to grandstanding on immigration issues.

Texas has by far the most lenient speeding laws in the country, according to a study by WalletHub.com.  WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales says they measures a number of factors, from that the posted speed limit is, to how strict the penalties are for people who have been apprehended.

 One example, Gonzales says, is at what point the minor offense of ‘speeding’ gets kicked up to the far more series offense of ‘reckless driving.’   For example, in Virginia, driving more than 20mph over the speed limit is automatically considered to be ‘Reckless Driving,’ and a motorist can get up to three months in jail for the first offense.  She says Texas is one of the few states where speeding is never considered reckless driving, no matter how fast you’re going.

 “Texas has no limits, so it is unclear what is reckless driving to the police officer who pulled you over,” she said.

 Almost every other state considered a third offense of speeding over a certain amount to be reckless driving, but Texas doesn’t.

  “There is no minimum jail time for the first or the second offense, and there is no license suspension on the records, either.”

Gonzales says Texas is also one of a handful of states without an ‘absolute’ conviction for going over the speed limit.  In most states, a radar reading of 10 miles over will be adjudicated guilty by a judge, but in Texas, a motorist can argue that there were extenuating circumstances, like the motorist was passing a vehicle or trying to avoid an accident.

Texas also gets high marks for outlawing cameras to register a motorist’s speed and automatically send a ticket, about a third of the states allow that.  Texas also does not have additional penalties allowing an officer or a judge to bump a routine speeding arrest up to ‘aggressive driving.’

Texas also caps the fine for speeding to $200.  In many states, the fine can be $1,000 or more.  In Virginia, for example, the fine for speeding can be $2,000, in Washington state its $5,000.  Texas also does not allow license suspension for speeding.  The aforementioned Virginia allows a motorist’s license to be suspended for up to 3 months for a first offense.

 And, to top things off, Texas has hundreds of miles of I-10 and I-20 in west Texas where the speed limit is 80 mph, and a stretch of State Highway 130 with a posted 85 mile speed limit, the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Photo from http://www.autoblog.com