'Plan While You Can' while drinking on Spring Break

'Plan While You Can' while drinking on Spring Break

Posted:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

Colleges and universities will be going on Spring Break over the next few weeks, so LPD, DPS and TxDOT are ramping up efforts to prevent drinking and driving. 

Around this time last year, TxDOT documented 410 drunken driving incidents, 48 of those crashes led to serious injuries and killed 20.

TxDOT's 'Plan While You Can' campaign kicks off and urges people to arrange for a ride home before picking up a drink.

Texas A&M graduate Houston Sutton knows far too well the ramifications of driving drunk.

"All of a sudden, I just wake up. My windshield's cracked, I can smell diesel burning, airbags in my face."

He woke up in the hospital and was asked if he was drinking. He had been drinking.

"[His brother] was like, 'Well Houston, you killed someone.' About that time, my heart just sank."

 Houston has these words of caution to anyone looking forward to letting loose during Spring Break.

"It affects more people than anyone can ever imagine. It's not just you and the victim, or you and the person you hit. It's your family, it's their family, it's your community, it's your friends. It's a ripple effect that never ends."

 LPD and DPS echo the sentiment.

"During last year's Spring Break alone, there were four alcohol-related crashes in Lubbock, one of those resulted in a fatality. As we all know, one life lost is just too many. Especially when it is 100 percent avoidable," LPD Assistant Chief Jon Caspell said.

"The plans you make now can save your life or the life of another. The heartache of losing a loved one to such a preventable crime is seen too many times," Texas DPS Sergeant Keith Smith said.

Even if you don't crash, you're still looking at stiff penalties when they catch you.

"A DWI can cost a driver up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time, and you can lose your license. It can also affect your future job prospects. It's not worth it," TxDOT District Engineer Steven Warren said.

 The emphasis on safe driving and the growing stigma of impaired driving is having an effect.

"The good news is from 2005 to 2014, by the efforts just like this, what we're doing here, the death rate has been dropping nearly 50 percent," Dr. "Frank" Liu with TTU Engineering said.

The campaign's message is to encourage drivers to choose an alternate ride home if they've been drinking. Visit www.soberrides.org for more information.

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