ASK A COP — What authority do Texas game wardens have?

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Breeze caller asks: You answered a question about who are police officers in the state of Texas and who has the greatest authority among city police officers, DPS state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and constables. You concluded all were state of Texas-licensed police officers given the power of arrest. What about game wardens? Are they police officers in the state of Texas?

Answer: Texas Game Wardens are also licensed police officers in the state of Texas with the powers of arrest. Game wardens hold the duties of protecting and conserving wildlife populations, finding and stopping poachers, managing wildlife conservation programs, ensuring the public safety while interacting with wildlife and, of course, making sure ALL hunters and fishermen are properly licensed. All agencies have the power of arrest, but you may be detained and referred to the jurisdictional agency. As always, comply with all lawful orders given to you by ANY of the law enforcement officers in the state of Texas.

Sam from Groves asks: I’m kinda confused about the texting and driving law. You mentioned it is illegal in Texas to text while driving. Can someone drive with their cellphone in their hand and talk, as well. I don’t really see the difference between the two acts. Are both acts talking with the cellphone in hand and texting with cellphone in hand illegal or just the texting and driving?

Answer: The state of Texas wants us to concentrate on NOT texting while driving. Research proves a driver of a motor vehicle that is texting while driving is 24 to 34 times likely to get into a crash than a driver that’s not texting and driving. The same research proved someone talking on a cellphone is five times likely to get into a crash than someone who is not talking on a cellphone. Someone who is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is also five times likely to get into a crash than someone who is operating a vehicle and they are not intoxicated. The only thing in my professional opinion that a motorist can do that’s more dangerous than texting is sleeping while driving. It’s legal in Texas to talk with the cellphone in your hand, just don’t be attempting to dial or find something while the vehicle is in motion on the roads of Texas.

Frank from Lake Charles asks: I commute from Lake Charles to Port Arthur daily, but I’m thinking about relocating to Port Arthur. What do I need to do to get a Texas drivers license? I hope I don’t have to take the driving part over, because I’m so beyond that. Help.

Answer: Welcome to Port Arthur; we hope you can move here or the surrounding community. I’ll put your heart at ease and let you know that you will NOT have to retake the behind-the-wheel portion to be issued a Texas driver’s license. You will need to go to the Department of Public Safety office and apply for a Texas license. It’s important to remember Texas allows a new, out-of-state resident up to 90 days to get a Texas drivers license. You will need to bring your proof of residency, social security card, Texas registration for vehicles and proof of insurance. Remember once you are a Texan the clock starts ticking you have 90 days to get your Texas license!

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW: Stephen Buzzard Boots Mosley, Lelo mouth of Hwy 69/73 Washington and Tejas Lil Man Morning Star for Ask A Cop live,on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as they discuss the “Ask A Cop” column. Call in your question live at 409-982-0247 or make a text comment at 409-748-6106. Email your questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 and leave a voice mail or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”