NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Law enforcement officials across the state are hoping that this year you treat yourself to a Holiday P.A.S.S. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is encouraging that everyone have a Person Appointed to Stay Sober.
The holiday season is the deadliest time of year on Texas roads. Last year there were more than 2,400 alcohol-related traffic crashes in the state – many of them deadly.
"Drinking during the holidays is a big problem and it's a big problem in Texas," TxDOT spokesman Paul Braun explained. "Last year alone 82 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, between December 1 and January 1."
The P.A.S.S. campaign not only reminds everyone not to drink and drive during the holidays, but also encourages planning ahead for a sober ride home.
Braun says people should, "Make a safe and sober decision before they start to celebrate. Have somebody designated as that person assigned to stay sober."
TxDOT officials say they have appointed generous portions of grant dollars, across the state, to put more officers and troopers on the roads during the holiday season.
Additional Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) patrols began today and will run through the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Texas trooper Gabriel Medrano said the goal of getting home safely must be something that's thought about in advance. "Really, Texans need to take it serious that intoxicated driving is one of those type of crashes or incidents that can be prevented, one-hundred percent, as long as we realize that the responsible thing to do is to plan ahead."
Troopers, deputies, and police officers will all be working to catch drunk drivers and keep roadways safe, something that is especially important since AAA is projecting that more than 93 million people will be driving on highways across the country over the next week.