“Know When to Pass,” a campaign by TxDOT, or the Texas Department of Transportation, held an event on the Tyler Junior College Campus on November 27th to warn students and faculty members about the dangers of drunk driving, and to remind students to “Know When To Pass” during the most sports centered holidays of the year.
According to TxDOT, the statewide campaign “aims to increase awareness of the dangers of game day drinking and encourage fans to pass their keys to a sober driver when they plan to drink.”
A study done by The University of Texas in 2007 showed that football game days are among the heaviest days for alcohol consumption and in a study done by TxDOT it was discovered that not only do 51% of Texans who drink report having 3 or more drinks while attending football-watching gatherings, but an immaculate 45% of those Texans drive home afterwards.
“If you’ve been to a Texas game, or you’ve been to a Cowboy’s game, or you’ve been to an Aggies game, you know the tailgate is often more important than the game itself…You just need to remember that at the tailgate if you’re consuming alcohol you need to designate a driver or pass all together,” stated Larry Krantz, TxDot’s Public Information Officer for the Tyler area.
In Texas, as well as all 50 States, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. But consequently, according to a study done by the Texas Department of Transportation, 30.9% of traffic fatalities in 2009 were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol.
At TxDOT’s demonstrations, they also gave students and faculty the opportunity to try to pass a sobriety test with “drunk” goggles on.
“These simulation goggles make you feel as though you’ve been drinking and they’re pulling you over and making you walk the line for sobriety test…It was very difficult and no I did not succeed…I would not recommend drinking and driving,” stated Lauren Tyler, Student Life Director at TJC.
“The consequences for the crime of driving while impaired are serious and real. Impaired drivers risk killing, disabling, disfiguring, and injuring themselves and others…Do not get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Designate a driver, catch a bus, call a cab or call someone you trust to pick you up, or spend the night where you are,” says TxDOT officials.
According to Krantz the event “had a good turnout” and his message is “One fatality from drunk driving is too many…plan ahead and know when to pass.”
More information about the “Know When to Pass Campaign” can be found online at www.facebook.com/knowwhentopass