As COVID-19 orders are relaxed in many parts of the state and more Texans return to the roads, TxDOT’s “Plan While You Can” campaign is reminding drivers to make a sober ride part of their Memorial Day weekend plans.

“The long weekend should be an enjoyable start to summer, and we understand more and more people are beginning to venture out,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “But if you plan to drink alcohol, please know it is vital that you plan ahead for a sober ride. Without a doubt, planning for a sober ride home, will help prevent senseless tragedies and save lives.”

During last year’s Memorial Day weekend* in Texas, there were 360 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes in Texas. Those crashes killed 16 people and seriously injured another 34.

Driving under the influence of alcohol not only risks death or serious injuries, but it can also be costly. Drivers can face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license. Instead of getting behind the wheel, here are some alternative options:

  • Designate a sober driver.
  • Contact a cab or ride-share service.
  • Use public transit.
  • Spend the night.

“Plan While You Can” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit and never driving after drinking or using other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or call (936)633-4395.

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Rhonda Oaks is the Public Information Officer for the nine-county Lufkin District of the Texas Department of Transportation. A Lufkin native, she is a graduate of Hudson High School and Angelina College. She has a background in print journalism and worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer. She has received eight Associated Press awards. Her articles have been published in many publications over the past 25 years.