SAN ANGELO – As Thanksgiving approaches, the holiday season beckons families to gather around tables laden with warmth and tradition. Yet, for those in West Texas who lost loved ones in the 1,246 fatal crashes caused by drunk drivers last year, this time of year carries an indelible shadow.
From December 1, 2022, within just 32 days, 108 lives were tragically lost and 229 people suffered severe injuries due to DUI-alcohol related crashes across the state. Each of these incidents leaves behind families haunted by memories that will echo painfully throughout their lives.
TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams urged, "Don’t let your holiday celebration turn into an irreversible tragedy due to drinking and driving. Prioritize a safe and sober ride when planning gatherings with your loved ones. Risking your job, your life, and the lives of others is a sacrifice not worth making."
Despite being entirely preventable, drunk driving crashes inflict enduring physical, emotional, and financial repercussions. As the holiday season approaches, the plea is clear: never drive after consuming any amount of alcohol. Instead, designate a sober driver, utilize rideshare services, taxis, stay where you are, seek support from friends or family, or opt for public transportation to ensure a safe journey home.
In a bid to emphasize the severe consequences of drunk driving and promote sober ride options, TxDOT plans to tour a mobile video exhibit across West Texas. These holiday-themed outreach events will feature impactful video testimonials, sharing firsthand accounts of the aftermath of drunk driving, aiming to dissuade individuals from taking such risks. These stories and guidance on securing sober rides can be accessed at https://www.soberrides.org/media-center/.
To further encourage a holiday season free from the perils of drinking and driving, TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign will span across TV, radio, billboards, and online platforms. Additionally, establishments like bars, restaurants, and convenience stores will display campaign materials. This initiative aligns with a concentrated law enforcement period from December 16 through January 1, bolstering patrols to apprehend drunk drivers on the roads.