AUSTIN – During last year’s holiday season, December 1-January 1, approximately one in four deaths on Texas roadways were alcohol-related. In an effort to reduce these fatalities, the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Plan While You Can” campaign reminds drivers to make planning a sober ride part of their holiday celebrations.
“Tragically, there are many families who experience the holidays without a loved one due to a drunk driver,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We need to remember that each time someone dies or is seriously injured on our roadways, it affects a family and an entire community. Don’t make a bad decision that could cause heartache for your family and others. Make a plan to get home safely. It could save lives.”
In 2016, there were 2,321 alcohol-related crashes in Texas during the holiday season.* Those crashes killed 82 people and seriously injured another 199.
The “Plan While You Can” campaign includes a statewide tour featuring an interactive dodgeball game where participants avoid incoming “snow balls” as virtual drinks are added to the screen. As more drinks are added, participants experience how drinking can slow their reaction times as on-screen avatars begin responding more slowly to their players’ movements. The experience will visit eight Texas cities during December.
While drivers under the influence of alcohol risk killing or seriously injuring themselves or others, they also face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license. As always, TxDOT strongly encourages everyone to plan for a sober ride before going out. Visit SoberRides.org to find alternatives to drinking and driving, such as:
- Designating a sober driver.
- Contacting a cab or ride-share service.
- Using mass transit.
- Asking a sober friend or family member for a ride home.
- Spending the night.