TxDOT, law enforcement step up effort to curb drunk driving
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TxDOT, law enforcement step up effort to curb drunk driving

New law also takes effect Sept. 1 targeting drunk drivers who kill parents of young children

Traffic stop and arrest

AUSTIN – As Labor Day approaches, TxDOT is reminding all Texans about the dangers of drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced an increased enforcement period from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4. Texas law enforcement agencies are among those that will increase their efforts to pull over motorists suspected of drunk driving.

“Too many people are killed on our roads each year — especially during holidays — due to impaired driving. These crashes are inexcusable and 100% preventable,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “If you spend time with friends or family and decide to drink, make the right decision and plan ahead for a sober ride by taking a rideshare, taxi, public transit or designated driver.”

The harsh reality is people continue to choose to drive after drinking. Last year, there were 345 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes over the Labor Day holiday weekend alone, resulting in 20 fatalities and 62 serious injuries. Over the course of the year, a person was killed every 7 hours and 17 minutes in Texas because of a DUI-alcohol-related traffic crash, resulting in 1,203 people losing their lives.

The increased enforcement period comes as a new law is set to take effect on Sept. 1 that will require someone convicted of intoxication manslaughter to pay child support if they kill a parent with young children.

Erin Crawford Bowers was six-months old when her parents were killed by a drunk driver. She is now a married mother of two living in New Braunfels. She is sharing her story across Texas to prevent other families from experiencing the same tragedy.

“I just wanted my father to walk me down the aisle or my mom to be there when I had babies,” said Bowers.

Drive Sober. No Regrets. 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.

News desks: NOTE linked video of Erin Crawford Bowers for broadcast/web use.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@TxDOT.gov or (512) 463-8700.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of June 1, 2023.

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August 15, 2023