Contact: Media Relations
Phone: (512) 463-8700
Date: Dec. 5, 2013
TxDOT’s Sober Ride Sleigh visits 15 Texas cities (download video and photos here)
AUSTIN —As a reminder to keep the holidays happy and safe, the Texas Department of Transportation is urging Texans to give themselves and others the gift of a sober ride as they make the rounds to their seasonal celebrations. To raise awareness, TxDOT’s Sober Ride Sleigh — a donated holiday-decorated limousine with a giant bow on top — is visiting select cities, making stops at shopping malls, popular landmarks, parades and other events to encourage the gifts of safety and sober driving.
“When it comes to the holidays, planning is everything,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “The best holiday planners make exhaustive checklists as they prepare for the perfect party or favorite holiday meal. Planning for a sober ride is no different. This year, a sober ride should be on every holiday to-do list.”
During last year’s holiday season (Dec. 1, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013), there were 776 DWI-alcohol-related crashes in Texas, resulting in 239 serious injuries and 78 fatalities – a 21.8-percent increase in fatalities compared with the previous holiday season. In an effort to curb holiday crashes and fatalities, TxDOT’s Sober Ride Sleigh gears up as law enforcement officers increase patrols. Officers throughout the state will work thousands of additional hours to crack down on drunk driving, including implementing no-refusal programs in many jurisdictions.
Be a Holiday Hero; Win a Trip to New York
Making a personal commitment to drive sober is one of the best ways to be a holiday hero. This year, being a holiday hero also means Texans can win a trip for two to New York to celebrate New Year’s Eve in iconic style -- a prize donated to TxDOT’s holiday anti-drunk driving campaign. To win the trip, Texans must pledge to have a sober ride this holiday season. They can enter the trip contest in various ways, including by text (text the keyword “SoberRide” to 42330), online (at SoberRides.org) or by tweeting (tweet “I pledge to have a #soberride this holiday season @TxDOT”). Closer to home, the runner-up prize is a limo ride in any Texas city on New Year’s Eve.
Sober Rides Make Great Gifts
Assisting in this life-saving campaign, the Texas Hospitality Association is distributing messages about sober driving across the state via TxDOT-branded materials in stores, bars and restaurants where alcohol is sold. Also, Capital Metro in Austin is partnering with TxDOT to encourage people to use the bus as their sober ride home. The National Safety Council also is joining TxDOT to encourage Texas employers to remind their employees to line up sober rides during the holiday season.
The TxDOT Sober Ride Sleigh tour: