GALVESTON — Attendance was up and mayhem appeared to be down at the 13th Annual Lone Star Rally this weekend. For the first time in years, there were no motorcycle deaths reported in the county, according to officials.
A motorcycle accident in League City in Harris County did, however, send one rally attendee to the hospital Friday in critical condition. Though his current condition is unconfirmed, there have been reports that he died from his injuries.
Galveston police said there was minimal trouble at the rally this year. Officers made only 64 arrests from Wednesday to Sunday, 18 of which were in the rally area, officials said.
By comparison, during Mardi Gras, the island’s other large festival, there is often twice as many arrests in a single night, police spokesman Sgt. Joshua Schirard said.
Police officials said that most of the weekend’s arrests were minor incidents, although one rally attendee was arrested Saturday after a reported attempt to steal a tip jar. Police reported finding a stolen gun and cocaine on the rally attendee.
Police reported a total of 177 reports and responded to 1,067 calls for service during the rally, which is about one call for police service every 6 and a half minutes from Wednesday to Sunday.
Police officials attribute the drop in major incidents to the about 40 officers posted at the event during peak hours and the No Refusal program instituted by the Galveston District Attorney, which streamlined screening for DWIs by providing judges and medical personnel on hand.
There were only seven DWI arrests this year processed through the program, according to District Attorney Jack Roady.
Roady said this year’s DWI arrests are down from 17 in 2013 and 11 in 2012.
“We’re glad to see so many of the rally participants choosing to ride sober,” Roady said.
Vehicle counters tallied over 194,000 vehicles entering the island from Wednesday to Sunday, more than 3,000 more vehicles than entered the city during last year’s rally.