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Give the Gift of a Sober Ride this Holiday Season

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) 1,183 people died in alcohol related fatalities on Texas roadways in 2013. The city of San Antonio had the highest number of alcohol related crashes, followed by Houston, Dallas and Austin. The number of drunk driving accidents is particularly high during the holiday season. During the holidays last year (December 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014), there were more than 2,365 DWI/alcohol traffic crashes in Texas. More than 760 people were seriously injured and another 92 people lost their lives. While these figures are astounding, this is actually a decrease of close to 9% from the same time last year.

However, there is still vast room for improvement. The TxDOT wants people to enjoy the holiday season but to do so safely. The TxDOT is running its Holiday P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) campaign this year. The program encourages Texas motorists to lend a hand and give the gift of a sober ride home. The program hopes to lessen the number of impaired drivers on the road over the holiday season by encouraging people to plan ahead for a sober ride home. Unfortunately, all too often a designated driver is appointed during the course of the evening’s festivities. He or she is typically the least intoxicated person in the group, not a sober driver.

Sober designated drivers are vitally important since many Texas cities and towns do not have adequate public transportation for people to rely on. TxDOT is working with the local transit authorities in several cities, including Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi to help people consider using the bus system as a sober ride option.

While the holiday season is a wonderful time of year to be out and celebrate, it can all be ruined when a person makes the decision to drink and drive. To remind people to have a sober driver this holiday season, the TxDOT will have also have a “Sober Sleigh Ride” visiting more than twelve cities across the state and make appearances at local parades and shopping malls. The “sleigh” is actually a donated limousine that is wrapped to look like a present.

Texans can help a friend, family member or co-worker this holiday season by giving the gift of a sober ride. People who agree to utilize a sober ride over the holidays can enter into a drawing to win prizes, including a day at the Richard Petty Racing Experience at Texas Motor Speedway, a $2,000 spa gift certificate or one of three $1,000 American Express gift cards.

Motorists throughout Texas also need o be aware that many communities across the state will have no-refusal programs in place over the holidays. This means that if a person is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer can forcibly take a sample of the driver’s blood for purposes of determining his or her blood alcohol level.

Being charged with drunk driving over the holidays is not the way any person wants to celebrate the season. However, if you happen to be arrested this holiday for DWI, ,the wisest first move is to contact an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Only a highly skilled DWI Defense Attorney can properly investigate the charges against you and challenge any mistakes made by the arresting officer. For more than 30 years, Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit understands how to fight DWI charges. To schedule a free consultation call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.