TxDOT Lets Potential Drunk Drivers See Themselves Behind Bars Interactive campaign photo booth discourages drunk driving and encourages young adults to get a P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober)

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Impaired driving on weekends is a very serious problem in Texas that too often leads to alcohol-related crashes and fatalities. In an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is reaching out to young adults at universities and military bases around the state to reduce drunk driving incidents and encourage Texans to plan ahead for the weekend by getting a P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober)

This year's interactive campaign features a photo booth truck that offers students/visitors the opportunity to have their picture taken with props and backdrops and posted to Facebook. The props and backdrops allow visitors to pose as various weekend characters, such as "the partier," "the sober driver (the P.A.S.S.)," and "the drunk driver in jail." While trying on the different personas, visitors will watch a short video aimed at discouraging drunk driving. The truck will be available at colleges and military bases.

"Most young adults go to great lengths to plan their weekend activities. This campaign encourages them to include a P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) as part of their weekend plans," said Carol T. Rawson, P.E., TxDOT's Traffic Operations Division Director. "Too often, people choose the 'least drunk' person in their group to drive. But, the best plan is one that includes a sober driver, a person that has had nothing to drink."

Drinking and driving continues to be a national and statewide problem that has serious and often deadly consequences. In 2010, there were 25,181 DUI alcohol-related crashes in Texas that resulted in 1,107 deaths and 16,930 injuries.

In 2010, 36.6 percent of the total traffic fatalities in Texas involved drivers under the influence of alcohol, and 24 percent of people killed in alcohol-related crashes in Texas were between the ages of 20 and 25. However, this age segment only represents 9 percent of the overall state population.

"This campaign is all about empowering Texans to be proactive," Rawson added. "It's about planning for a sober ride."

All 50 states have made it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. But, many people, especially young adults, continue to drink and drive.

In fatal crashes, the highest percentage of drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher was for drivers, ages 21 to 24 (35 percent), followed by ages 25 to 34 (32 percent).

TxDOT will share photos and information about this campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PersonAppointedtoStaySober.

TxDOT plans to visit colleges and military bases in the following areas during the campaign:

Austin – February 27–28 and March 14–15
HoustonFebruary 29
San AntonioMarch 2 and March 12–13
Rio Grande Valley – March 5–6
El Paso – March 8–9
Dallas/Fort Worth – March 20–22

For additional details on the campaign tour:  http://www.thinkstreet.net/pass/index.html.

For more information call TxDOT's Government & Public Affairs Division at (512) 463-8700.

The Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at www.txdot.gov. Fan us on Facebook www.facebook.com/txdot. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/txdot.

SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation



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