The Texas Department of Transportation’s “Plan While You Can” campaign urges party goers to plan for a sober ride this holiday season. The campaign runs through Jan. 1, 2016 and coincides with an increase in DUI patrols and enforcement.
Too often a designated driver is chosen during the evening and is often considered the “least drunk” person in the group. The designated driver should be a sober driver. Unfortunately in many of our Texas towns and cities, mass transit and/or taxi availability is limited – another important reason this campaign message is about planning ahead and reminding our fellow Texans to “Plan While You Can.”
“The holidays are a time of celebration and family, but they also require responsible decisions and planning if alcohol is involved,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “Our goal is to save families from the heartbreak of losing a loved one. Finding a sober ride is easy and it can save you from being arrested, injured or killed. There is no excuse for drinking and driving.”
During last year’s holiday season (Dec. 1, 2014 – Jan. 1, 2015) there were 2,412 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 190 serious injuries and 110 fatalities. This was nearly an 8-percent increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities over the previous holiday season.
Central to the “Plan While You Can” campaign is a statewide tour featuring an interactive dodgeball game that uses custom gaming technology to replicate the effects of alcohol on a person’s reflexes. As participants play, virtual drinks are added and the players’ on-screen avatars become less able to dodge incoming “snowballs.” The game demonstrates how even one drink can slow reaction times.
Additionally, TxDOT is hosting a contest on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media accounts. Participants who tag up to three friends in a tweet or a post with the hashtag #PlanWhileYouCan will be entered into a giveaway for a donated gift card from a retailer, restaurant or entertainment venue. To enter and learn more, follow TxDOT on its social media accounts.
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:
- Calling a taxi or using a transportation app on your smartphone.
- Using mass transit.
- Asking a sober friend or family member for a ride home.
- Spending the night.
For more information, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.