Drunk drivers claim the lives of hundreds of Texans every year, and spring break can be a particularly deadly time.
TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign is working with college students around the state to highlight the dangers of impaired driving by sharing stories from people who have experienced the consequences firsthand.
One person in Texas dies every 7 hours and 43 minutes in a DUI-alcohol (driving under the influence) related traffic crash. In 2021, 1,134 people in Texas were killed and 2,565 seriously injured because someone chose to get behind the wheel while impaired. During spring break of 2021, Texas recorded 874 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in 31 deaths and 107 serious injuries.
Across the Atlanta District in 2021, there were 330 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in 22 fatalities and 51 serious injuries. In this area during the 2021 spring break holiday period, there were 8 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in 2 serious injuries. The Atlanta District includes Bowie, Camp, Cass, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Titus and Upshur Counties.
In Texarkana in 2021, there were 48 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in 6 serious injuries. In Texarkana during the 2021 spring break holiday period, there were 2 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in one serious injury.
“Spring break can be such an exciting time for our college students, we just want them to remember that there can be real consequences if they get behind the wheel under the influence of any amount of alcohol. With so many sober ride options available, there’s really no excuse to drive after you’ve been drinking,” said Atlanta District Engineer Rebecca Wells.
“The loss of life on our highways is tragic.” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “It is all the more tragic to know that the vast majority of these lives lost could be prevented. Our message to students is this: Help keep yourself and others safe by finding a sober ride, taking a cab, using a rideshare, or simply staying put. There are severe and deadly consequences to drunk driving, and we don’t want to see lives and futures destroyed.”
TxDOT is partnering with college campus-based U in the Driver Seat, a peer-to-peer program led by students at Texas A&M University, focused on saving lives by preventing traffic crashes. Student leaders from around the state will join the campaign and urge their fellow students to always find a sober ride.
Drinking and driving is an all-too-often regrettable decision with far-reaching consequences. Beyond the inherent risk of injury and death—to the driver, passengers or other innocent bystanders—driving while intoxicated is often accompanied by a lingering emotional and financial toll, resulting in legal, career, and mental health repercussions. Every day, impaired driving devastates the lives of offenders and survivors alike.
Throughout March, TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign will host outreach events at key spring break locations. Each event will showcase a mobile video exhibit featuring powerful testimonials from Texans who intimately understand the consequences of drunk driving, either as offenders or survivors. These humanizing stories and tips for finding a sober ride can be found at SoberRides.org.
TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Atlanta District Public Information Officer Heather Deaton at Heather.Deaton@TxDOT.gov or call (903) 799-1306.
Follow TxDOT’s Atlanta District on Facebook @TxDOTAtlantaTX, Twitter @TxDOTAtlanta and Nextdoor.