According to a press release by TxDOT, during Spring Break 2015, there were 459 crashes in Texas involving young drivers ranging in ages from 17-34 years of age, under the influence of alcohol. Those crashes led to 43 serious injuries and 16 fatalities.
The Texas Department of Transportation is hoping to reduce these numbers through “Plan While You Can,” a campaign that runs March 1-19 to coincide with Spring Break and an increase in DUI patrols and enforcement in Texas.
“Besides being a potentially deadly choice, the cost of a DUI is far-reaching with long-term consequences that can negatively impact a young person’s future,” said TxDOT Traffic Operations Division Director Carol Rawson. “Many of these young people are under 21 and it is against the law for them to drink alcohol. A young life cut short is a heartbreaking tragedy so we urge every driver to obey the law and make responsible choices.”
The “Plan While You Can” campaign is a multi-city tour featuring an interactive dodgeball game that uses 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 “beach balls.” The game demonstrates how even one drink can slow reaction times.
The “Plan While You Can” tour will stop at The University of Texas at El Paso (3/1); The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (3/8); Texas Tech in Lubbock (3/10); Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels (3/12); South by Southwest in Austin (3/17); and South Padre Island (3/19).
Drivers under the influence of alcohol can face up to $17,000 in fines, legal fees, impoundment and other costs.
TxDOT strongly encourages everyone to plan for a sober ride before going out and finding 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