Drunk and impaired driving involved in nearly one quarter of all holiday traffic deaths

Published 1:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2021

To The Leader

AUSTIN A night of drinking at a friend’s house for Richie Griffin in Austin led to the holidays spent in the court system after he crashed into a home when he got behind the wheel drunk. This is just one of many stories that highlight the costly and tragic consequences of driving under the influence. This holiday season, TxDOT wants to remind Texans to always find a sober ride.

Throughout December, TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign will host events across the state featuring video testimonials of Texans like Griffin who deal with the daily consequences of drunk driving, either as an offender or survivor. These powerful stories and drunk driving facts can be found at SoberRides.org.

“It is our hope that these moving, first-hand accounts will encourage all of us to make the right choice and not ever drive after drinking or doing anything that can alter our judgment,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. ”We don’t want to turn a happy time of year into one that could be marked by tragic loss caused by someone’s poor decision to drink and drive.”

There were 2,462 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes in Texas during the holiday season of December 1, 2020 through January 1, 2021. Those crashes killed 93 people and seriously injured another 215.

Drinking and driving is 100% preventable and can have serious physical, emotional and financial consequences that can last for years. A DWI can hurt or kill someone, devastating the lives of victims and survivors forever. It can also cause significant and expensive legal issues, create difficulty finding or keeping a job and bring a lifetime of regret.

There are many sober ride options available. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, use a rideshare service, stay put, call a friend or family member, or use mass transit to ensure you don’t drive impaired.

The 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 such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.