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.
As Texans are planning to celebrate the holidays, the Texas Department of Transportation is launching a holiday campaign with a renewed focus on the importance of planning for a sober ride home. TxDOT’s Holiday P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) campaign encourages Texans to give the gift of a sober ride and make it easier for sober drivers to enjoy the festivities without drinking alcohol.
“Texans can help make the holidays joyful all season long by giving the gift of a sober ride home or by offering a non-alcoholic drink option at their holiday parties,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “Safety is a top priority for us at TxDOT and we’re asking Texans to make a commitment to safe, sober driving this holiday season.”
Holiday drinking and driving poses a serious threat for all holiday travelers on the road. During last year’s holiday season (Dec. 1, 2011, through Jan. 1, 2012) there were 2,462 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 842 serious injuries and 78 fatalities. During the upcoming holiday season, law enforcement officers throughout the state will work thousands of additional hours to crack down on drunk driving, including implementing no-refusal programs in many jurisdictions.
To assist TxDOT in spreading the Holiday P.A.S.S. life-saving message, the Texas Hospitality Association is distributing customizable sober driver “gift certificates” and other materials in stores across the state where alcohol is sold. Additionally, award-winning mixologist, Rob Pate, owner of restaurants Peche’ and Cherry Street in Austin, is creating three signature non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays that will be promoted for holiday parties.
For tips on planning ahead for sober drivers and safe rides after holiday festivities, visit the Holiday P.A.S.S. Facebook page at facebook.com/txdot or the Pinterest page at pinterest.com/holidaypass. You will also find recipes for our original non-alcoholic drinks there.
For more information, visit their official website at txdot.gov.