LUFKIN – The Texas Department of Transportation’s “Plan While You Can” statewide campaign that urges party goers to plan for a sober ride this holiday season will be on the Lufkin Mall parking lot Tuesday to drive it’s message home to East Texans.
The campaign that runs through Jan. 1, 2016 coincides with an increase in DUI patrols and enforcement and works to educate the public of how quickly a driver can become impaired after consuming only one or two alcoholic beverages.
The event will take place on the parking lot of Lufkin Mall, 4600 S. Medford Drive, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open and free to the public.
The tour stop will include an interactive impaired dodgeball game truck where two participants at a time can play the game which is a fun and impactful way of showing the effects of alcohol on a person’s reaction time.
The game has Wii Connect technology as a person’s avatar will be displayed on a large game screen. Central to the “Plan While You Can” campaign is the interactive 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 “snowballs.” The game demonstrates how even one drink can slow reaction times.
Participants will also be invited to spin a wheel for a chance to win a free gift card. Educational material and holiday branded lip balm will also be given out to those who stop by. Additionally, TxDOT is hosting a contest on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media accounts. Participants who tag up to three friends in a tweet or a post with the hashtag #PlanWhileYouCan will be entered into a giveaway for a donated gift card from a retailer, restaurant or entertainment venue. To enter and learn more, follow TxDOT on its social media accounts.
During last year’s holiday season (Dec. 1, 2014 – Jan. 1, 2015) there were 2,412 alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 190 serious injuries and 110 fatalities. This was nearly an 8-percent increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities over the previous holiday season.
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, asking a sober friend or family member for a ride home or just spending the night.
The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of Nov. 30, 2015.