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Transportation

TxDOT urges students not to drive under influence through spring break campaign

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Texas transportation officials are advising students and others to drive responsibly during spring break in an effort to reduce fatalities and serious crashes throughout the state. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were more than 870 DUI-related traffic crashes during last year’s spring break. Those incidents resulted in 30 deaths and 107 serious injuries.

Danny Perez, a spokesperson for TxDOT in Houston, said his agency is asking anyone of driving age to be careful, especially high school and college students.

“We have folks that are going out to the beach, going to Galveston for example, and that’s where our concerns are with folks who are taking those long drives,” he said. “It’s really anybody who gets behind the wheel after drinking.”

Throughout this month, TxDOT will have outreach events as part of its “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” campaign at key spring break destinations across Texas that are popular among college students. Perez said this is a crucial time to get their message out, now that more people are getting out of the house and traveling.

“Especially with COVID and with winter, people were not out as much, and now with spring coming in, the temperature is starting to warm up a bit and folks are starting to get out more,” said Perez. “They’re going to the beach and they’re going to events, and what happens is when they include alcohol, they many times don’t include a plan to get home safely.”

That’s why Perez said planning for what he calls “a sober ride” home is important. He recommends public transit, a rideshare service, or a designated sober driver.

“And a sober person is not the person who’s had the least amount to drink, but the person who has not had anything to drink at all,” he added.

Last week, TxDOT held outreach events in San Antonio, Arlington, and Austin. This week, there will be more events in Houston and South Padre Island.

Their campaign includes a video exhibit, featuring testimony of Texans who have dealt with the consequences of drunk driving.

“We’re hoping these real-life stories show students that deadly consequences can and do happen every year during spring break,” said TxDOT executive director Marc Williams in a statement announcing the campaign.

More information can be found at soberrides.org.
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