AUSTIN (KXAN) - Labor Day weekend is only a couple days away and is notorious for the final party to the symbolic end of summer.
That's why the Department of Transportation is rolling out its "Drink. Drive - Go to Jail" campaign to stop people from driving under the influence.
"People relax during the summer, Labor Day is a big time to celebrate the end of summer and getting back into your routine for the rest of the year naturally they party, they drink there are accidents," said Chris Bishop, a spokesman for TxDOT. "There are deaths we want to stop that we want to remind them drink and drive you go to Jail."
On Tuesday, TxDOT had its simulated mobile jail cell equipped with a toilet, sink and bunk bed parked at the University of Texas' West Campus area.
The campaign is specifically targeting college students. People could put on an orange jump suit, go inside the jail and see what their future would be like if they were to drink and drive.
"We're not trying to be a parent we're not trying to be mom or dad," said Bishop. "We are trying to be the voice of reason that says, 'Hey, there's a reason for the laws there's been a reason for what you've been told and taught, just think about it to give them one more chance to make the right decision."
TxDOT said statistics show most offenders tend to be between 21 and 34 years old. In 2012, there were 477 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Austin during the summer months. Last Labor Day weekend, there were 330 alcohol related crashes statewide.
“I think parents need to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and they also need to talk to their children about riding in a car with somebody that has been drinking and driving," said Mayra Constable with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Constable lost her husband in 1999 after he get behind the wheel after drinking. She was left a widow and a single parent. Now her mission is to educate parents that drinking behaviors start at a young age and parents need to talk to their kids.
"From mom to son, I’ve talked to him about making good decisions having a plan if something happens at a party where theres alcohol served," said Constable to her now 15-year-old son.
MADD said a new statewide survey shows parents need to take the opportunity to talk to their kids. The survey stated 62 percent of underage students said they've heard warnings about the consequences of alcohol from TV or school.
The survey went on to say 48 percent, less than half, of students heard about the dangers of alcohol from their parents.
MADD has put together a booklet, Power of Parents program and resources, to give tips to parents on how to talk to their teens about underage drinking. It's a free 30-minute workshop for parents with a free handbook.
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