Spring Break Travel: From DWI to Prices Too High - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Spring Break Travel: From DWI to Prices Too High

It's the first day of spring break for most schools across Texoma.  It's always a popular time to hit the road.  For college students especially, that could mean some partying.

"With that partying comes drinking, and that results in drinking and driving," said TXDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Patsy Walls.

Those aged 17 to 24 are responsible for nearly 28% of alcohol related fatal crashes.  That's why TXDOT has funded 100 law enforcement agencies across the state with nearly $8 million for extra patrols during spring break.  Walls has had students at Midwestern State sign pledges that they won't drink and drive.

"Driving is not a part-time job.  It's a full-time job," she said.

But despite the break from school, not everyone is taking their planned road trips anymore, thanks to soaring gas prices.

"Well, we were thinking about it but it's gonna take money out of my pocket and it's money I don't have right now," said Michael Roy.

Those big numbers at the pumps were about half the reason JD Barnes, Jr. is staying in town.  He was just planning on a two-hour drive to the metroplex, but even that isn't going to happen.

"About a couple weeks ago when it started to rise, and it just keeps going up and up.  It's better to do something at home than hit the highway," he said.

If money at the pump is one of your worries this spring break, then you certainly don't want to deal with getting a DWI.  TXDOT's campaign reminds people that one DWI could cost up to $17,000 dollars.  But if you do head out, remember that it's not just drunk drivers who can cause tragedy.  Distracted or drowsy drivers can be just as much a problem.

"It's always best to start out relaxed and refreshed and rested, so we want to recommend that," Walls said.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6

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