During Spring Break 2015, there were 459 crashes in Texas involving young drivers (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 (TxDOT) is hoping to reduce these numbers this year 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.
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.