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TxDOT campaign targets drunk driving

Patrons like Brian Jones of Austin can picture themselves as one of Santa’s reindeers at bars and nightclubs throughout Texas this month as part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s annual holiday DWI prevention campaign. Antlers and messages on restroom mirrors remind motorists to find a safe way home. Penalties for a first-time DWI conviction include driver’s license suspension, a fine up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail. Photo by Jody Horton Patrons like Brian Jones of Austin can picture themselves as one of Santa’s reindeers at bars and nightclubs throughout Texas this month as part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s annual holiday DWI prevention campaign. Antlers and messages on restroom mirrors remind motorists to find a safe way home. Penalties for a first-time DWI conviction include driver’s license suspension, a fine up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail. Photo by Jody Horton AUSTIN — With the holiday season kicking into high gear, reminders from the Texas Department of Transportation to celebrate responsibly are popping up in convenience stores, restaurants and even on mirrors above bathroom sinks at bars and night clubs.

“We know Texans like to celebrate the holidays in a big way,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT Traffic Operations Director. “That’s why we’re making a special effort to reach motorists with don’t drink and drive reminders at locations where alcohol is served or purchased. We want everyone to be safe this holiday season.”

TxDOT is behind a host of new outreach efforts designed to remind holiday revelers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking and find a sober ride home or call a cab. Santa’s reindeer will adorn bar coasters, bathroom mirror decals, street posters and interactive digital jukebox advertisements to remind patrons to find a sober ride home if they’ve been drinking.

Perhaps the most unexpected of these efforts involves reindeer antlers, which will be placed on bathroom mirrors in bars and restaurants across Texas.

When a patron glances in the mirror above the bathroom sink, they will see their own head adorned with reindeer antlers. Adjacent to the antlers will be a decal that reads: “Don’t drive if you’re tipsy, buzzed or Blitzen. Call a cab or get a sober ride home.”

Partners in this year’s DWIprevention campaign include the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Texas Package Store Association, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Texas Municipal Police Association.

Though the percentage of alcohol related fatalities in Texas has decreased in recent years, Texas continues to lead the nation when it comes to alcohol-related traffic fatalities. During the month of December 2008, 85 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Texas.

Penalties for a first-time DWI conviction include driver’s license suspension for up to one year, a fine up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail.


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