HARLINGEN — As Spring Break draws near, Texas Department of Transportation personnel are advising Spring Breakers to think twice before they drink and drive.
TxDOT is urging motorists to plan sober rides as part of its “Plan While You Can” campaign, which launched Thursday.
The aim of the campaign is to save lives and decrease alcohol-related crashes.
According to a TxDOT press release, the campaign will tour the state and will feature the “Plan to Win” virtual reality game.
The game poses questions related to drinking and driving and illustrates the consequences of getting behind the wheel through an immersion experience.
According to TxDOT representatives, those who drive while intoxicated can face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver’s license.
“Drinking and driving is a dangerous and often deadly choice that can ruin the future of a young driver and all those involved in a crash,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass stated in a press release. “This Spring Break, be responsible and plan ahead for a sober ride.”
According to the press release, in Texas, during Spring Break 2019, there were 417 crashes involving young drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol.
Those crashes killed 26 people and seriously injured another 52, the press release states.
As part of the campaign, a family is sharing their story.
Jamie Chapman, 20, was a college student when he made the decision to drive after drinking at a party, the press release states.
During the drive, he slammed into a tree and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Jamie survived the crash, but it left him physically debilitated, the press release states.
Jamie’s mother, Katrina, described her son as being no different than any other college kid.
“He loved a good time with his friends and he had so much to look forward to in the future,” Katrina stated in the press release. “Jamie’s decision to drive drunk has affected our entire family’s life, even eight years later.”
Katrina stated that she hopes young adults will see Jamie’s story and will make the right decision to find a sober ride.