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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Dallas Organizations Raise DWI Awareness Ahead of Holidays

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Irving Police DWI Unit | Image by Irving Police Department/Facebook

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With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, North Texas officials are raising awareness about driving while impaired. Multiple organizations have come together to raise awareness over the holiday season, NBC 5 reported, and they gathered for a press conference last Wednesday.

Organizations present included AAA Texas, 24HourDallas, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Dallas County’s DWI Task Force, and more.

Spokesperson for AAA Texas Daniel Armbruster shared that there has been an increase in dangerous driving since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and this behavior has not yet slowed.

The roads in Texas have not seen one day without a fatal crash in over two decades, according to Armbruster. Of these fatal crashes, DWI makes up about 25% to 30%.

“We saw last thanksgiving alone in Texas — you can see when you look at the data from the state, starting that Wednesday, the number of fatality crashes where alcohol is involved starts climbing,” he said.

“And then it jumps on Thanksgiving Day. And it stays up throughout the weekend. So that’s really concerning. If people would just take the time to plan, have a sober ride and make the right decision, we could avoid horrible tragedies that not only impact those drivers who make bad decisions, but oftentimes innocent people around them.”

As part of raising awareness, cars involved in DWI-related crashes are being displayed by Elba Garcia, the Dallas County commissioner, and her partnerships, NBC 5 reported. The cars will be put in multiple spots across the county for widespread visual impact.

Dallas County has one of the highest rates of impaired driving fatalities in Texas, Armbruster told NBC 5. As such, he stressed the importance of making sure to have a sober ride lined up before celebrating the holidays with alcohol.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is also sharing rideshare discount codes that can be used in certain bars and restaurants in Dallas over the holidays. The discounts are made possible through a partnership with 24HourDallas and work with the Lyft ride-share app.

“We were very fortunate to partner with 24HourDallas, which is a nonprofit that works with restaurants and bars within the entertainment district in downtown Dallas,” Emma Dugas, the state program manager for MADD, told NBC 5.

“And so, we were able to offer this $5 Lyft code to those restaurants who actually were awarded the Copper STAR certification through this nonprofit. And it’s a very extensive certification process, just one of the focus areas is impaired driving.”

A list of Copper STAR businesses can be found here.

Dugas urged drivers to make smart and safe decisions.

“There’s no happy holiday ending to drunk driving. Make sure that you get home safe[ly]. Even if you only drink one drink, it still impairs you. So please be safe, always have that non-drinking driver to get you home,” Dugas said.

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