TxDOT, SFA Health Science students join forces to warn against drunk driving

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Texas Department of Transportation and Stephen F. Austin's Health Sciences students delivered together the sobering message not to drink and drive. It's important to hear as they take off for Spring Break.

One student didn't need drunk goggles to get the message.

Few passed the simulated field sobriety test. That's how they're receiving the message about the dangers of drunk driving.

The lesson came through a harsh reality for Kathlyne Bracken.

"He was twice over the legal limit. The driver was three times over the legal limit," Bracken said. "And they were pronounced dead on the scene and they were taken to the morgue right away."

Kathlyne was 17 when her friends were killed. It made an impression that sticks with her to this day.

"It made a huge impact on me to not to drink and drive," Bracken said.

However, others will. That is a fact organizers of a safe Spring Break event approach wisely.

"We don't ignore the problem, but we try to make them safer, so we're offering information about how to get a sober ride, designate a driver, call a cab, or just try to stay clear of the dangers of alcohol," said Allison Beck, a Texas Department of Transportation traffic safety specialist.

That part of the education was handled by Christine Casebeer.

"That's how they remember me because my last name is Casebeer, and I work for the Alcohol, Drug Abuse Council," Casebeer said.

She's the one who follows trends among college students.

"Binge drinking is something we're seeing a lot on campus and a lot at the high schools, middle schools," Casebeer said.

They say it's climbing faster than drug use. That's why the message about the dangers of drinking and driving is so important.

"It's not good. Don't do it," said Ramiro Espericueta, an SFA student. "Get a safe ride. DD all the time."

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2012, over 2,600 drivers age 18 to 25 were involved in alcohol-related crashes in Texas. The result: 306 of them were killed.

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