Driving While Intoxicated Campaign Promises “Drink. Drive. Go To Jail. De Veras”
The Easter holiday kicks off a busy time for the Hispanic community in Texas, with Fiesta and Cinco de Mayo soon following. While these holidays bring fun and family to the community, they also kick off a period of increased drinking and driving on Texas roads and highways. That’s why the Texas Department of Transportation (TX-DOT) has created a new driving while intoxicated (DWI) campaign called, ‘Drink. Drive. Go to Jail. De Veras.’ The term ‘De Veras’ means ‘For Real’ in Spanish.
Beginning on May 5th, 2014, the new campaign is aimed at Hispanic drivers and hopes to encourage them to never get behind the wheel after drinking. The campaign will feature an interactive truck that will tour cities and invite people to play a Mexican game of chance, Lotería, with the intention of encouraging people to avoid drinking and driving.
Drinking and driving related crashes are a serious problem in Texas. Statistics by the Texas Department of Transportation show that there were 25,158 DWI crashes in 2013 with 1,022 fatalities. Out of all of those crashes, 11,867 involved a Hispanic driver. The data also showed how young male Hispanic drivers age 17-34 were responsible for 47 percent of DWI-related crashes.
There are strict penalties for anyone who chooses to drive while intoxicated in Texas. The first time you are stopped you’ll be fined up to $2000 and are required to go to jail for up to 72 hours. You’ll also lose your privilege to drive for no less than 90 days and may need to install an ignition interlock device.
Because Texas has such a large population, it is the hope of both TX-DOT and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce that the campaign will connect to the community on a cultural level and encourage all drivers enjoying the upcoming holidays to never get behind the wheel after drinking.