RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As many people ring in the new year, officials are warning about the consequences of drinking and driving.

Ana Verley, a victim service specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD), said the deadliest time for driving while intoxicated crashes and fatalities are between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

“Sometimes it’s a crash without an injury. Sometimes it’s just the trauma of having been involved in the crash,” said Verley.

She said driving under the influence does not only involve legal consequences but can also result in severe injuries or death.

“A crash during the holiday is the worst, it’s absolutely the worst because that is the anniversary of the crash, the anniversary of the loss of their loved one, their lives are changed forever,” she said.

Officer Martin Sandoval, the public information officer for the Brownsville Police Department, said drunk drivers and drunk driving incidents are something he has witnessed many times during his time patrolling.

“It’s never easy when you have to go and knock on the door and tell a loved one that that their loved one their daughter, their son, their mother, their father, who you know a family member has, has passed away or is in the hospital in critical condition because of a drunk driver,” he said.

He said there are ways to celebrate in a safe way.

“Throughout the years, many people have seen gruesome accidents, where everything could have been avoided. If that person would have just taken another route instead of drunk driving,” Sandoval said.

He said using a ride-share service or having a designated driver is the best route.

Verley recommends is a person is hosting a new year’s eve celebration they should have options for guests including a place to stay in their home.

“Those people that are hosting parties, of course, to provide plenty of food, so people don’t drink on an empty stomach, and that you provide nonalcoholic beverages to the people that are going to be the designated drivers,” she said.

Officer Sandoval said they are increasing patrol to add about 10 more officers for the holiday to make sure drunk drivers are kept off the roads.

In addition, Texas Highway Patrol will also be increasing patrol looking for people speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and driving while intoxicated.