Department of Public Safety

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

If you are about to head out of town for one last time this summer, or are just going to stick around the city on the long weekend, the Texas Department of Public Safety wants you to know there have been some changes made to road-related laws that take effect Sept. 1.

While there is a chance that your naiveté on a few of these matters may get you off with a friendly warning, some of these infractions could cost you some serious money.

State of Texas

Starting Monday, the Texas Department of Public Safety is stepping up DWI patrols and the enhanced enforcement period will last through Sept. 9, which includes Labor Day weekend.

The DPS said troopers will focus patrols in high-risk areas for alcohol-related crashes.

Eileen Pace / TPR

The state’s top auto theft detectives are meeting in San Antonio this week and have a list of tips for owners of certain vehicles.

Lt. Paul Heitzmann of the San Antonio Police Department said auto theft is a sophisticated operation these days. Thieves also are looking inside your vehicle for paperwork that can give them a chance to steal your identify.

"Auto crime is now an organized criminal activity. It is no longer just a crime of opportunity," he said. 

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, has asked that the State Marshall’s Office and Department of Public Safety work together to compile a website where people can identify dangerous chemical sites.

Col. Steve McCraw, who is with the Department of Public Safety, said currently there are 129 chemical plants in Texas that house dangerous chemicals, two just like the one in West.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Texas Matters: With the investigation into the West fertilizer plant explosion ongoing, the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee held a hearing to clarify who is responsible for reviewing these kinds of facilities. Also on this show: The chances that Ted Cruz makes a presidential run and the future of high-stakes testing in Texas.