TxDOT campaign aims to deter drunk driving this summer
AUSTIN – Drunk driving deaths increased again last year in Texas, and TxDOT is urging all Texans to save lives and reverse this trend by choosing a sober ride.
Monse Montoya’s family was destroyed when a drunk driver ran through a stop sign and T-boned her parents’ car. The crash instantly killed her father and her 15-year-old brother. Her mother survived, but she spent a week in the ICU.
The driver of the other car had been drinking with his coworkers before getting behind the wheel, instead of arranging a sober ride. He’s now in prison, while Monse’s family has been left broken because of his reckless choice.
It’s a tragic but disturbingly common story — 1,162 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in Texas in 2022, a 2% increase from the year before.
That’s equivalent to three people dying every day of the year. TxDOT is sharing stories like Monse’s as a part of its Faces of Drunk Driving campaign. Through these stories, TxDOT hopes to remind Texans that behind every statistic is a person from our community—a brother or sister, a parent, a neighbor, a friend.
“Numbers can sometimes feel abstract,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “But these are real people whose lives were either lost or forever altered by someone’s decision to drink and drive. We hope that the stories featured in our Faces of Drunk Driving campaign will inspire Texans to always arrange a sober ride home.”
Last year, a staggering 26% of all traffic deaths in Texas involved a drunk driver. Those crashes led to one person dying every 7 hours and 32 minutes.
The Faces of Drunk Driving campaign reminds us that driving under the influence can have serious and often irreparable physical, emotional and financial consequences for survivors and offenders alike. Beyond the all-too-real possibility of taking a life, a DWI/DUI can be expensive and can lead to difficulty finding or keeping a job, loss of trust from loved ones, and a lifetime of regret.
This year’s campaign will feature events around the state to share stories from Texans who deal every day with the consequences of a drunk driving crash. Events will include an exhibit of powerful video testimonials. Full video stories and other impaired driving information are available online, at https://www.soberrides.org/
TxDOT’s “Faces..” campaign videos are narrated by Texans (in their own words) who deal with the daily consequences of drunk driving, either as offenders or survivors, such as:
- Richie Griffin of Austin (featured in this video), who drove home as a college freshman, while under the influence of alcohol, and crashed into someone’s home… costing him 10 days in jail, a year probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine.
- Analicia Zarate of Edinburg, TX (featured in this video and this video in Spanish), who lost her mother in a drunk driving-related crash in 2000.
- Jon Capraro of San Antonio (featured in this video), who was arrested for driving under the influence. Jon’s night out drinking with friends turned into a nightmare that cost him $15,000 in fines and fees, a night in jail, hours of community service, and the loss of his job.
TxDOT’s Faces of Drunk Driving campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.
The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of March 29, 2023.