As part of a comprehensive campaign against the scourge of drunk driving, through the end of this year, the company that makes Budweiser will work in partnership with ride-sharing company Lyft on the “Give a Damn, Don’t Drive Drunk” (#GiveaDamn) campaign. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage better planning on the part of people who drink and get them to stay out from behind the wheel. The initiative will provide free rides in nine states, including Texas, to people who have been drinking and choose not to drive home. It is their effort to help stop drunk driving In Texas and elsewhere.
In all, the two companies will offer up to 10,000 ride credits for round-trip rides every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through the end of the year. That means Texas residents over the age of 21 can visit Budweiser’s Instagram or Facebook pages at 2 p.m. every Thursday to get hold of a $20 ride credit on Lyft, good for two $10 one-way rides. The ride credits must be used between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. that Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Overall, they hope to provide as many as 150,000 rides by the end of 2017.
TxDOT Steps Up DUI Fight
This is just the latest effort to stop drunk driving in Texas, which has become a major problem over the years and never seems to subside. Regardless of the number of public service announcement, education programs and campaigns and just plain common sense, too many Texans continue to drive drunk and put everyone else on the road in potential danger.
At the same time, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has been promoting what they say is a “creative way” to take on the problem of drinking and driving in the state. To stop drunk driving in Texas, officials have been taking a virtual dodgeball game on the road, to show Texans just how much drinking can impair a driver’s reflexes and their ability to react. Just before Labor Day weekend, TxDOT took the exhibition to the University of Texas in Austin, in part because most alcohol-related crashes involve people between the ages of 18 and 35.
The way the exhibit works is, participants stepped up to a booth, in which a screen tracked their movements as they tried to dodge balls that were being thrown at them. As the game goes on, the machine raises the amount of alcohol and slows down the ability of players to react. According to those who participated, the game went from being extremely easy to being very difficult during the 75 seconds of game play. By the end, players claimed that, by the time they had three drinks, they couldn’t get out of the way. At least one UT student commented that he couldn’t imagine drinking and driving because there would be no way he could avoid hitting someone in that situation. Therefore, the exhibit seems to be effective.
Texas Leads the Nation in DUI Fatalities, SA Leads Texas
Every official with TxDOT and every law enforcement agency in the state is desperate to solve this problem. In 2016 alone, there were 24,807 alcohol-related crashes in Texas, which resulted in 1,005 fatalities and 2,316 seriously injured victims. In all, 28 percent of all Texas crashes were alcohol-related last year. The problem is so bad, the state sees a drunk driving crash about every 20 minutes.
San Antonio doesn’t escape this scourge. In fact, of the five Texas cities with the most alcohol-related crashes, San Antonio led the way with 1,845, which comes to more than 5 alcohol related crashes per day. One of those happened recently, when a man who was walking on a sidewalk was killed when a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran over him. The driver in that car accident was 26 years of age and was charged with intoxication manslaughter. After he ran over the pedestrian, the driver then swerved back onto the road and subsequently crashed into a bus stop. And that accident was the second pedestrian killed by a drunk driver within a few days.
Changing Attitudes About Drunk Driving in Texas
With its new efforts, TxDOT is trying as hard as possible to change attitudes about drinking and driving, which they feel is key to putting a stop to drunk driving in Texas. Just because alcohol is available everywhere and seems like an important part of the weekend for many people doesn’t mean everyone can’t do the right thing. TxDOT is encouraging more people to plan their weekend based on their assumption that drinking will be part of the celebration. They recommend arranging for a taxi or ride-share service in advance, before the party-goer even begins drinking.
Far too often, Texans choose to get behind the wheel after they have had a few drinks, which is a bad decision to make. When a driver makes that decision, they are putting everyone on the road or the sidewalks or the bus stops at greater risk than is normally the case. With a drunk driving crash every 20 minutes on Texas roadways alone, that is a lot of extra risk on streets and highways that are already crowded.
Experienced Texas Drunk Driving Attorney
Texas currently leads the nation in drunk driving fatalities and San Antonio leads the state in that category, as well. It is good that TxDOT and responsible companies like Budweiser and Lyft are doing their part, but we all need to work together to stop drunk driving in Texas once and for all. In the meantime, if you or someone you love has been seriously injured or suffered a wrongful death because someone decided to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact San Antonio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at the Hill Law Firm. Our team has the knowledge and the experience to deal with the insurance companies and the opposing parties and make sure that all responsible parties are held accountable. We want to help protect your rights under the law.