TxDOT’s DWI prevention campaign simulates intoxicated driving

TxDOT brought its statewide “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” holiday drunk driving prevention...
TxDOT brought its statewide “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” holiday drunk driving prevention campaign and traveling video exhibit to Tyler.(KLTV)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 3:00 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - This can be one of the worst times of year around the country, when it comes to drunk driving.

There were two thousand 462 DUI alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas during last year’s holiday season, according to TxDOT. Of those crashes 93 people were killed and 215 seriously injured. TxDOT brought its statewide “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” holiday drunk driving prevention campaign and traveling video exhibit to Tyler.

The campaign offered participants the chance to sit in a simulated driver’s seat and experience what it’s like to drive under the influence of alcohol.

“Oh my god, this is not fun.” That’s just one reaction a driver had during the multimedia drunk driving simulation TxDOT brought to Tyler today. Robert Santiago is the outreach manager and said around the holidays they really try and get the word out about drunk driving and its impact.

“This time of year, the holidays, festivities, there’s all kinds of gatherings, celebrations of people coming home, people who have been off to college or whatnot,” Santiago said. “All we want to do is encourage people to plan ahead. Like they plan to get together, how about plan how to get home safely.”

Groups of curious people stopped by to try and get in the seat of the simulator. Santiago said it simulates .16, twice the legal limit. Amanda came by in a group and tried to focus on the road.

“It was really hard. It’s harder than I expected,” she said. “Because it’s the holidays and people get wasted and try to try home when they could call an Uber or get a friend to take them home. Drink responsibly.”

Through conversations and videos, they shared that drinking and driving is preventable and can have serious physical, emotional and financial consequences that can last for years. Those stopping by also shared their personal stories.

“It’s interesting how this elicits a response from people who’ve experienced DUI or struggles and now they’re on the other side of that. I had an older man who said it’s changed his life many years ago. A younger man who just change four months ago,” Santiago said. “I really don’t wish those experiences on anyone, much better that you learn vicariously and just don’t choose it. Like we say, it’s not against the law to drink. It is against the law to drink and drive.”

Roberts and Roberts Law Firm is partnering with the Tyler Car Service to offer free rides home in Tyler and Longview. The free rides are available through January 1st. To get a free ride home, call (903) 592-3232.

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