WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Planning ahead can save lives on Texas roadways. That's the message the Texas Department of Transportation is sending to Texomans in preparation for this holiday weekend. It's all about having a safe and sober ride home.
Tx-DOT officials say drinking and driving is a big problem in Texas. During the Labor Day holiday last year there were 359 alcohol related crashes that lead to 12 deaths and 36 serious injuries. Their Plan While You Can campaign urges drivers to plan ahead to get to and from festivities safely.
Local law enforcement is making sure traveling Texomans stay safe this holiday weekend. They'll be out in force to get drunk drivers off the roads.
"As part of our campaign plan while you can Tx-Dot is providing grant money to local law enforcement. This weekend you will see more officers on the roadway looking for drunk drivers and any other violators out there to get them off the road."
Transportation officials say even one drink can slow reaction time when a person is behind the wheel. The consequences for driving under the influence can obviously be tragic resulting in deadly crashes. Even if you don't crash drunk drivers can face up to $17 thousand dollars in fines and lose their license if caught.
"Plan While You Can is so important because DUI is 100% preventable yet on Texas roads 30% of the people who die get killed because of drunk or drugged driving."
Taking just a few moments to plan ahead means finding alternatives to drinking and driving to get you where you're going. Call a taxi or rideshare, download their apps on your Smartphone ahead of time. Use mass transit. Ask a sober friend or family member for a ride. Have a designated driver lined up. Stay where you are and spend the night - avoid driving in the early morning hours.
"TxDOT looked at all of our stats and we found that the deadliest time on roadways is early early Sat morning between 1 and 4am. That's the time most people get killed on roadways."
Enjoy the labor day weekend safely...and remember no drink is worth a life. Plan ahead.