TxDOT’s holiday drunken driving prevention campaign called “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” was launched this weekend. Since then, the campaign went into effect and will run through January 1 to remind Texans to get home safely without harming others on the road.
“I want motorists to know that drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. … If you do choose to drink and drive, Texas law enforcement agencies will find you and we will take you to jail,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Sergeant Shana Clark.
“Our goal is to get all the drunk drivers off the road before they injure or kill themselves or some other innocent party. We tend to see more drunk driving within the holiday period,” said Sergeant Clark.
“Drunk driving is definitely a problem in Texas,” she continued. “Every seven hours and fifty-seven minutes someone dies in an alcohol-related crash on Texas roads.”
According to data from last year, TxDOT reported that Texas saw more than 48,600 crashes during the holiday season between December 1 and January 1.
During that period, reportedly more than 400 people died, and 1,695 suffered serious injuries.
Almost a quarter of those deaths (23%) were related to drunken driving. In those instances, 98 people were killed and 236 were seriously injured.
“With everything going on in the world these past few years, we want everyone to be able to celebrate this joyous time of year without the tragic consequences of drinking and driving,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams in a press release.
TxDOT is encouraging drivers to find a ride if they decide to drink and to never get behind the wheel after drinking, especially during the holiday season when many choose to drink as part of festivities and celebrations.
“Get together with family and friends and have a great time, but please find an alternative way home if you choose to drink. You have many options available,” Williams said.
“Driving while intoxicated can cost up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time, loss of a driver’s license, difficulty finding or keeping a job, loss of trust from loved ones, and a lifetime of regret,” according to the TxDOT website. “Remember, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but one regrettable decision to drink and drive could bring a devastating end to the holiday celebrations.”