It’s not every day a red limousine adorned with frolicking reindeer and topped with a green Christmas bow comes to town, but over the next couple of weeks, this “Sober Ride Sleigh” will be a common sight in Austin and other cities in Texas. In an effort to bridle drunk driving and promote using designated drivers, the Texas Department of Transportation recently decked out this limousine to kick-off a fifteen city pledge tour.
Offering those who take the Holiday P.A.S.S (Person Appointed to Stay Sober) pledge a chance to win a free trip to New York this New Year’s Eve, TxDot has been pleased with the response they’re seeing. One participant said she took the pledge less to the win the trip and more because she believes in the purpose of the campaign, “I did it because there’s too many people getting killed.”
Drunk driving continues to be a problem throughout the state as last year’s accident data confirms. According to TxDot, from December 1 through January 1, drunk drivers were responsible for 78 fatal accidents and another 776 alcohol-related crashes were reported across the state in that same period.
If drivers ignore these warnings and consume one too many mugs of spiked eggnogs during the holidays, they can expect harsh consequences for getting behind the wheel. First-time offenders will be subject to a minimum 90-day license suspension and can expect to pay up to $2,000 in fines and fees, among other repercussions. Individuals in this position should consider contacting a DWI attorney to help reduce the drunk driving penalties.
The Mayor and Chief of Police of Odessa were among the first Texans to take the pledge. Beyond the consequences imposed by the state, the Odessa Chief of Police hopes people will consider the great personal cost of drunk driving. No one, he explains, wants to lose a child due to someone driving drunk.
San Antonio is the last stop of the Sober Ride Sleigh and the winner of the New Year’s Trip to New York will be announced on or before December 31.