Alarming Rates of DUI-Alcohol-Related Crashes in East Texas

Drunk drivers cause thousands of fatal accidents across the United States annually. In 2021 alone, 1,061 people were killed in Texas. The crashes were particularly prevalent in Atlanta District, where there were 51 severe injuries and 23 deaths from 333 DUI-alcohol-related accidents.

The statistics from other districts and cities are also concerning. For example, 48 DUI-alcohol-related road accidents were reported in Texarkana in 2021, causing six severe injuries.

Twenty-four percent of all traffic fatalities in Texas in 2021 resulted from drunk driving. Specifically, there were 25,261 DUI-alcohol-related road accidents. These numbers translate to one casualty approximately every eight hours.

The DUI-alcohol-related road accidents in Texas increased by 9% between 2020 and 2021. Thus, more families are devastated yearly due to impaired drivers on Texas roads. According to Attorney Felix Gonzalez of Felix Gonzalez Accident and Injury Law Firm, “Your actions in the moments after a drunk driving crash are crucial, not only to your health and safety, but also to your case.”

DUI-alcohol-related accidents also peak during holidays. For example, 38 percent of the traffic fatalities during the Fourth of July celebrations in 2021 were because of drunk drivers.

The Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign

All DUI-alcohol-related accident fatalities are 100 percent preventable. Eliminating the drunk driver from the equation generally removes the primary causative factor, significantly reducing the risk of crashing.

Noting the preventability of severe road accidents and fatalities, TxDOT is launching the Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign. This project aims at raising awareness of the severity and preventability of DUI-alcohol-related accidents.

Speaking on the Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign, TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams stated, “…we hope these personal accounts from offenders and survivors wake people up to the consequences of drinking and driving.”

The Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign is a constant reminder of the human toll of DUI-alcohol. Texan drivers are also alerted of the serious financial, emotional, and physical implications of drinking and driving.

The campaign also highlights the possible legal consequences of causing DUI-alcohol-related accidents. It highlights that the consequent litigation can cause difficulties retaining or finding jobs, regrets, and lost trust from family and friends.

To optimize the awareness of oblivious drivers, the campaign includes stories from actual DUI convictions. For example, Richie recounts drinking at a friend’s house before driving and crashing into a house. He spent ten days in jail and was convicted to a year of probation with 150 community service hours.

Richie also paid fines on top of the repair costs for the house. Moreover, he laments dealing with the resultant label as a convicted felon.

The 2022 Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign will share state-wide events and stories of other Texans currently dealing with the implications of drinking and driving. Powerful video testimonials will be included to attract vast viewership.

The Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign is fundamentally a component of the more extensive Drive Sober. No Regrets. Campaign and the #EndTheStreak social media effort. Cumulatively, these projects aim to encourage Texans to commit to safe driving.

Last Words

Road accidents remain a severe problem in East Texas. Specifically, DUI-alcohol-related crashes account for a significant proportion of the overall traffic accidents.

In 2021 alone, there were 51 severe injuries and 23 deaths from 331 DUI-alcohol-related crashes.These accidents marked a significant increase from previous years. All of the casualties and injuries were fully preventable.

Thus, TxDOT is launching the Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign to help reduce DUI-alcohol-related accidents. The campaign provides personal accounts from survivors and offenders to encourage responsible driving.

The Faces of Drunk Driving Campaign, coupled with similar projects like the #EndTheStreak social media effort, should eventually help increase the safety on Texas roads. Hopefully, more people will commit to safe driving with such campaigns.