AUSTIN — Whether attending a backyard barbecue, going to an outdoor concert or enjoying a lazy day on the river, Texans are planning for summer fun. As plans are made, more thought must also go into planning for a sober driver if drinking is involved.
Over the past five summers, alcohol-related fatalities increased by more than 10 percent in Texas. To curb this trend and help reduce drinking and driving, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding Texans to obtain a Summer P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) and make a sober driver an essential part of their summer plans.
“We’re reminding people that drinking and driving can land them in jail or worse,” said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. “Don’t drink and drive. You can’t afford a DWI and it could very well get you and others killed.”
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, 40 percent of drivers who consumed alcohol felt it would be safe to have three or more drinks within a twohour period before driving. A portion of that 40 percent believed they could have five or more drinks. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Numerous studies have shown that consuming as little as one drink can impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
In the summer of 2012 (June 1 – Aug. 31), there were 6,576 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 2,486 serious injuries and 302 fatalities.
For information about finding a sober ride home, visit www.soberrides.org.