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Ho-Ho-Oh-NoThis Holiday Season, TxDOT is focusing on the issue of impaired driving by encouraging people to save a life by making a plan to get home safely before the holiday festivities begin. The “Plan While You Can” impaired driving campaign encourages drivers to line up a sober ride before enjoying festivities where drinking may occur. The campaign will run through January 1, 2016 and coincides with an enforcement period in which DWI patrols will be at increased capacity and out in full force looking for drunk drivers on Texas roadways. 

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."

Texas Statistics

During the 2014-2015 Christmas Holiday Season (Dec. 1, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015), there were 2,411 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 190 serious injuries and 110 fatalities. During the 2013/2014 holiday season (Dec. 1, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2014) there were 2,408 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 233 serious injuries and 102 fatalities. Comparing the 2013/2014 holiday season with the 2014/2015 holiday season there was a 0.1 percent increase in alcohol-related crashes and a 7.8 percent increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Texas.

During the 2014-2015 New Year’s holiday (Dec. 31, 2014 to Jan. 3, 2015), there were 409 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas resulting in 34 serious injuries and 16 fatalities. During the 2013/2014 New Year’s holiday reporting period (Dec. 31, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2014), there were 337 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 37 serious injuries and 15 fatalities. Comparing the 2013/2014 New Year’s holiday reporting period with the 2014/2015 New Year’s holiday reporting period, there was a 21 percent increase in alcohol-related traffic crashes and a 7 percent increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Texas.

Texans can help make the holidays merry and bright all season long by remembering to make a plan to get home safely before the festivities begin. Remember, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but one poor decision to drink and drive could bring a devastating end to holiday celebrations.

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