The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) kicked off its new Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign during spring break, urging students to celebrate the holiday week responsibly.
According to TxDOT, one person in Texas dies every eight hours and 31 minutes in a DUI-alcohol related traffic crash. Last year, 1,029 people in Texas were killed and 2,522 seriously injured because an individual chose to drive while impaired, TxDOT said.
For the 2021 spring break, Texas saw 872 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes. These crashes resulted in 30 fatalities and 107 serious injuries.
TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said in a news release: “These are disturbing numbers, especially as all of these crashes are preventable. ... Whether it’s transit, rideshare companies or a designated sober friend, there are several options for students to find a sober ride. We’re hoping these real-life stories show students that deadly consequences can and do happen every year during spring break.”
In the Amarillo District in 2021, there were 453 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes, resulting in 31 fatalities and 59 serious injuries, with 17 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in two fatalities and one serious injury during the 2021 spring break.
In the city of Amarillo alone, there were 259 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes, resulting in nine fatalities and 25 serious injuries in 2021, with eight DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in two fatalities and no serious injuries over spring break 2021.
"Safety is our top priority. ... Last year, Amarillo ranked number two in the state when it comes to alcohol-impaired crashes resulting in fatalities and serious injuries," said Sonya Gross, Public Information Officer at TxDOT Amarillo.
The campaign was set out to bring awareness to these numbers and help young drivers understand the consequences of drinking and driving.
Throughout the month of March, TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign will hold outreach events at key spring break designations popular among college students; these will include a video exhibit featuring testimonials of Texans who deal with the daily consequences of drunk driving, either as offenders or survivors. These testimonials can also be found on their website at SoberRides.org.
The Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign is also a component of TxDOT's #EndTheStreakTX, a broader effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.
#EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Drive Sober. No Regrets. TxDOT works to bring awareness to Drunk Driving