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One-In-Four Holiday Fatalities Involve Drunk Drivers

TxDOT reports that one-in-four holiday crash fatalities involve drunk drivers.

TxDOT’s ‘Plan While You Can’ campaign aims to reduce crashes, save lives during the holiday season.

AUSTIN – During last year’s holiday season,* approximately one-in-four deaths on Texas roadways were alcohol-related. To reduce these fatalities, the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Plan While You Can” campaign reminds drivers to make planning a sober ride part of their holiday celebrations.

“Tragically, many families experience the holidays without a loved one due to a drunk driver,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We need to remember that each time someone dies or gets injured on our roadways, it affects a family and an entire community. Don’t make a bad decision that could cause heartache for your family and others. Make a plan to get home safely. It could save lives.”

In 2016, there were 2,321 alcohol-related crashes in Texas during the holiday season.* Those accidents killed 82 people and seriously injured another 199.

The “Plan While You Can” campaign includes a statewide tour featuring an interactive dodgeball game where participants avoid incoming “snowballs” as virtual drinks get added to the screen. The more sips, participants experience how drinking can slow their reaction times as on-screen avatars begin responding more slowly to their players’ movements. The experience will visit eight Texas cities during December.

While drivers under the influence of alcohol risk killing or seriously injuring themselves or others, they also face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license. As always, TxDOT strongly encourages everyone to plan for a sober ride before going out. Visit SoberRides.org to find alternatives to drinking and driving, such as:

Designating a sober driver
Contacting a cab or ride-share service
Using mass transit
Asking a sober friend or family member for a ride home
Spending the night

*Dec. 1, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017

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 Oct. 30, 2017.