‘Plan While You Can’ Campaign aims to reduce crashes, save lives during holiday weekend

AUSTIN — As celebrations are finalized to mark the last days of summer, the Texas Department of Transportation urges drivers to make a plan leading up to the Labor Day holiday — a plan for a safe and sober ride home.

“Drinking and driving remains a big problem in Texas,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “If you plan to drink, you must plan ahead for a safe and sober ride home. It’s a plan that could save a family — even your own — from the heartbreak of losing a loved one.”

TxDOT’s “Plan While You Can” campaign kicked off today in San Antonio and runs through September 5 to coincide with Labor Day and increased DWI enforcement in Texas. During the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, there were 359 alcohol-related crashes that led to 12 fatalities and 36 serious injuries.

The campaign is a multi-city tour featuring an interactive dodgeball game that uses gaming technology to educate the public about 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 “dodgeballs.” The game demonstrates how even one drink can slow reaction times.

As always, TxDOT strongly encourages everyone to plan for a sober ride before going out. In addition to potentially life threatening crashes, drivers under the influence of alcohol could face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license. Visit SoberRides.org to find alternatives to drinking and driving, such as:

·         Calling a taxi or using a transportation app on your smartphone.

·         Using mass transit.

·         Asking a sober friend or family member for a ride home.

·         Stay where you are and spend the night.