Spring break is a particularly dangerous and deadly time on Texas roadways. Each Spring Break, hundreds of young, promising lives are cut short due to the fateful decision to get behind the wheel and drive drunk. In an effort to stop this deadly trend, the Texas Department of Transportation has launched its College and Young Adult Impaired Driving phase of the statewide Plan While You Can campaign. The campaign aims to save lives and reduce crashes especially among young people who have their whole lives ahead of them.
In 2017, there were 13,510 crashes in Texas involving young drivers (17-34 years of age) who were driving under the influence of alcohol, which led to 535 fatalities and 1,355 serious injuries. During the 2016 Spring Break period, there were 458 DUI-alcohol crashes involving young drivers (17-34 years of age) who were driving under the influence of alcohol, which led to 15 fatalities and 33 serious injuries.
The College and Young Adult Impaired Driving campaign aims to caution young adults to think twice before they drink and drive and also serves to remind those under 21 that it is illegal to consume any amount of alcohol. The legal limit in Texas for intoxication is .08 (blood or breath alcohol concentration). However, when a law enforcement officer has probable cause based on the driver’s behavior, drivers can be arrested with a BAC below .08. Drivers under the influence of alcohol could face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and could lose their license.
We encourage Spring Breakers to plan ahead for a sober ride before the party starts by finding safe alternatives to drinking and driving such as calling a taxi or using a transportation app on their smartphones, using mass transit, asking a sober designated friend or family member for a ride (a sober designated driver is not the person who has had the least to drink, it’s the person who has not consumed any amount of alcohol), or simply staying where you are. Visit www.soberrides.org for a full list of alternatives.
Drink. Drive. Go To Jail.