From Staff Reports
The Texas Department of Transportation’s statewide “Plan While You Can” campaign is reminding football fans to make a sober ride part of their game-watching plans for the upcoming Super Bowl. The campaign runs through Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7.
“We strongly urge drivers to plan for a sober ride to attend Super Bowl watch parties,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT Traffic Operations Division Director. “Crashes caused by drinking and driving are 100 percent preventable. Before you drink, make a game plan to get home safely. It’s a decision that could save a life.”
During the 2014 football season (Sept. 4, 2014 – Feb. 1, 2015), there were 10,676 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas. Those crashes resulted in 492 fatalities – an increase of 7 percent over the previous year.
Central to the “Plan While You Can” football campaign is a multi-city tour featuring an interactive dodgeball game that uses custom gaming technology to replicate 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 “footballs.” The game demonstrates how even one drink can slow reaction times. The tour visits Wingstop restaurants in Austin (1/11), San Marcos (1/16), Corpus Christi (1/17), Houston (1/24) and San Antonio (2/7).
Drivers under the influence of alcohol can face up to $17,000 in fines, legal fees, impoundment and other costs. As always, TxDOT strongly encourages everyone to plan for a sober ride before going out. 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 or spending the night.