This Holiday Season, TxDOT is focusing on the issue of impaired driving by encouraging people to save a life by planning for a safe ride before holiday festivities begin. The Plan While You Can impaired driving campaign encourages drivers statewide to plan for a sober ride before enjoying festivities where drinking alcohol may occur. The campaign will run through January 1, 2019 and coincides with an enforcement period in which DWI patrols will be at increased capacity looking for drunk drivers on Texas roadways.
Too often a designated driver is chosen during the evening and is often considered the "least drunk" person in the group. The designated driver should be a sober driver. Unfortunately in many of our Texas towns and cities, mass transit and/or taxi availability is limited – another important reason this campaign message is about planning ahead and reminding our fellow Texans to Plan While You Can.
During the 2017 Holiday Season (Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018), there were 2,469 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 96 fatalities and 202 serious injuries. During the 2017 New Year’s Holiday (6:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, to 11:59 p.m., Monday, Jan. 1, 2019), there were 3,982 traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 37 fatalities and 123 serious injuries.
Texans can help make the holidays merry and bright all season long by remembering to make a plan for a sober ride before the festivities begin - especially if they're planning to drink alcohol. A great resource that can help Texans make a plan for a safe ride before going out is SoberRides.org. It's very important everyone understands the severity of a DWI. When drivers get stopped for being under the influence of alcohol they could face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and could lose their license.
Remember, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but one poor decision to drink alcohol and drive could bring a devastating end to the holiday celebrations. Plan While You Can this holiday season so you don’t Drink. Drive. Go To Jail.
Follow the hashtag #PlanWhileYouCan to keep up with the campaign on social media.