Special to The Dallas Examiner
AUSTIN – Drunk drivers claim the lives of hundreds of Texans every year, and spring break can be a particularly deadly time. One person in Texas dies every 7 hours and 43 minutes in a DUI-alcohol – driving under the influence – related traffic crash.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign is working with college students around the state to highlight the dangers of impaired driving by sharing stories from people who have experienced the consequences firsthand.
In 2021, Texas reported 1,134 people killed and 2,565 seriously injured because someone chose to get behind the wheel while impaired. During spring break of 2021, Texas recorded 874 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes, resulting in 31 deaths and 107 serious injuries.
“The loss of life on our highways is tragic.” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “It is all the more tragic to know that the vast majority of these lives lost could be prevented. Our message to students is this: Help keep yourself and others safe by finding a sober ride, taking a cab, using a rideshare, or simply staying put. There are severe and deadly consequences to drunk driving, and we don’t want to see lives and futures destroyed.”
TxDOT is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, maritime, rail and public transportation across the state.
It is partnering with college campus-based U in the Driver Seat, a peer-to-peer program led by students at Texas A&M University, focused on saving lives by preventing traffic crashes. Student leaders from around the state will join the campaign and urge their fellow students to always find a sober ride.
Drinking and driving is an all-too-often regrettable decision with far-reaching consequences. Beyond the inherent risk of injury and death – to the driver, passengers or other innocent bystanders – driving while intoxicated is often accompanied by a lingering emotional and financial toll, resulting in legal, career and mental health repercussions. Every day, impaired driving devastates the lives of offenders and survivors alike.
Throughout March, the campaign will host outreach events at key spring break locations. Each event will showcase a mobile video exhibit featuring powerful testimonials from Texans who intimately understand the consequences of drunk driving, either as offenders or survivors.
These humanizing stories and tips for finding a sober ride can be found at SoberRides.org.
TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.
The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). The information was received and processed by the department as of Nov. 9, 2022.