ODESSA, Texas–According to the Texas Department of Transportation, during last year’s holiday season alone, there were 2,462 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes in Texas. And of those crashes, 93 people were killed and 215 were seriously injured.

Keeping those statistics in mind, starting today, December 23rd, and through January 2nd, Texas Department of Public Safety has launched their annual holiday traffic enforcement initiative.

In an effort to help keep roadways and their fellow Texans safe this holiday season, DPS will increase the number of patrol men on the streets of Texas.

By releasing emotional and compelling testimonies from some caught driving while intoxicated and some victims of accidents involving drivers under the influence, Texas Department of Transportation is hoping to remind folks to drive responsibly and make safety their number one priority, not just during the holidays, but every time one gets behind the wheel.

TxDot Executive Director Marc Williams says, “It is our hope that these moving, first-hand accounts will encourage all of us to make the right choice and not ever drive after drinking or doing anything that can alter our judgment. We don’t want to turn a happy time of year into one that could be marked by tragic loss caused by someone’s poor decision to drink and drive.” 

A victim of a drunk driving accident, Jessica Turner, experienced first-hand how it felt to have someone under the influence, instantly ruin an experience.

She says, “I was 15 years old at the time, and my mother was teaching me how to drive, when someone under the influence hit us head-on. My mother was killed instantly. I was rushed to the hospital, and I ended up having to miss my mother’s funeral. If you’re gonna have a good time, continue that good time by being safe. Give your keys to someone else, or sleep in your car, but don’t drink and get behind the wheel.”

The department wants to make sure Texans drive responsibility and make safety their number one priority whenever getting behind the wheel.

For more information on the initiative and any tips for driving sober this holiday, head to the Departments website at dps.texas.gov.