BOLIVAR PENINSULA, Texas — Known for being arguably the wildest weekend of the year, Jeep Weekend on Bolivar Peninsula ended quietly despite more than 230 arrests.
According to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, the arrests were primarily for public intoxication or disorderly conduct. Major Ray Nolen credited the promising results to the decision to double their police presence for 2023.
It was all part of the plan to cut down on the rowdy behavior while making sure the beach party didn't bleed into nearby subdivisions.
"Overall it's been a successful event," Nolen said. "We've had about the same number of arrests as last year."
As many as 30,000 people were expected to line the shores of Crystal Beach for the annual party that started years ago as a gathering for Jeep owners. But recently off-road vehicle enthusiasts of all sorts have joined in.
Attendee Savannah Maxwell went to Go Topless Jeep Weekend for the 2nd time.
She says the energy is what draws her to attend the event.
"Just simply like the energy of the area. Like the party it's where you wanna be. It's where everybody goes for the weekend and it's like okay if we're all going we're going. It's the biggest party in Southeast Texas," Maxwell said.
Maxwell says there were a lot more deputies on patrol, but that didn't stop people from breaking the law.
"People are still going to be crazy and go on about it, but it got handled a lot faster than it usually would. I guess you could say, but I did see a lot more people get arrested this year as well," Maxwell said.
Throughout the weekend 150 deputies were patrolling the beach from multiple law enforcement agencies, including Texas DPS, to keep partygoers safe.
As of Sunday, 234 people were arrested and 283 charges filed, including 13 felonies, according to Nolen. There were also two people flown to the hospital since Thursday night, and about 40 people were hospitalized with minor injuries.
"We feel like we got a pretty good handle on the overall safety of it," Nolen said. "We're just trying to get through...and try to get everybody home safe."
The sheriff's office also said a woman was in critical condition with a severe head injury after she fell out of a truck Friday night. The driver of that truck has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
"We have historically had three or four sometimes five fatal crashes related to impaired drivers during these events," Nolen said.
Authorities also reported an armed robbery on the beach that is still under investigation.
"We've had no fatalities as of yet and we had no injured officers. I call that a successful jeep beach weekend."
Thanks to a strike of DPS units, no one died on the road ways.
"If you put marked DPS units every couple of miles all the way down that highway from one way down to the other. It sends a pretty significant message. that we're not going to tolerate any unsafe driving," Nolen said.
Rain put a damper on the festivities Saturday night, causing more of a traffic headache on Highway 87 as people tried to leave the beach, only for them to turn around and return once the showers ended.