AUSTIN (KXAN) — With 2023 just around the corner, Austinites will be gathering together on Saturday to ring in the new year.
Too often, New Year’s Eve turns tragic because someone chooses to get behind the wheel after drinking.
Last year’s holiday season — December 1, 2021 through January 1, 2022 — 23% of all traffic crash deaths in Texas that occurred involved drunk driving, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Those crashes killed 98 people and seriously injured 236 last year.
With all of this in mind, TxDOT is stepping up its efforts to keep drunk drivers off the roads.
In an effort to curb traffic injuries and fatalities this holiday season, the enforcement period of TxDOT’s “Drive Sober. No Regrets” campaign is in effect.
Law enforcement across the Lone Star State will be out in force, targeting motorists driving under the influence.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, troopers will be out on the roads looking for people who are speeding, not wearing their seat belts, driving while intoxicated or committing other traffic violations.
During DPS’s 2021 New Year’s enforcement efforts, there were more than 91,000 citations and warnings issued.
TxDOT is encouraging people to plan ahead by ordering Ubers, Lyfts or taxis in order to avoid putting you or others in harm’s way.
Although these rides may be a bit pricier, TxDOT Austin spokeswoman Glynda Chu is asking people to consider the cost of your life.
“Value your life, your friend’s life. Think of the children that won’t be around for next Christmas,” she said. “Look at your family and friends, you don’t want to lose any of them.”
Even if you’re not planning on drinking, TxDOT is advising folks to avoid driving during those peak hours — midnight to 2 a.m. — on New Year’s Eve.
According to TxDOT, the cost of a DWI in Texas could cost up to $17,000 in fines and fees.
To learn more about TxDOT’s “Drive Sober. No Regrets” holiday drunk driving prevention campaign, you can click here.