TEXAS (KWES) - TxDOT is encouraging drivers to stay safe this holiday season and plan rides while still sober.
Drinking and driving can not only ruin the holidays but it can also ruin someone’s life.
Driving while under the influence is extremely dangerous and drivers could risk killing or seriously injuring themselves or another person. Additional consequences could include up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and the loss of their driver’s license.
Finding an alternative to drinking and driving could include having a designated driver, using a cab or ride-share service or even simply spending the night. To discover more options you can visit SoberRides.org.
The “Plan While You Can” Campaign follows a 2017 holiday season that saw 2,469 crashes in Texas where drivers were under the influence of alcohol. Because of these accidents, there were 96 fatalities and 202 serious injuries.
In the Odessa District alone, there were 54 alcohol-related crashes during this time period, including one fatalities and two serious injuries. The district encompasses Andrews, Crane, Ector, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward and Winkler Counties.
“Planning for a sober ride to and from holiday festivities is not only smart and responsible, but it also could save your life and the lives of others,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass.
As part of the campaign, Debra Vasquez has been sharing her story. In 2006 her 16-year-old daughter and five-year-old nephew had been killed by a drunk driver who had two prior DWIs. She hopes sharing her story will prevent unnecessary deaths from drunk driving.
“I want drivers to understand that your life can change in the blink of an eye,” Vasquez said. “Two lives were taken because of someone’s mistake to drink alcohol and drive."
"People think ‘oh this won’t happen to me.’ I thought this at one time, too. I beg you. Don’t drink alcohol and drive.”
To read more about this campaign you can click here.