News Column

On Game Day: Know When To P.A.S.S. Your Keys

Oct 29 2012 12:00AM

Hispanic PR Wire

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Football season is a time that Texans look forward to each year. But, game days often mean heavy drinking followed by irresponsible behavior�drinking and driving�causing an increase in crashes across the state.

So the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is tackling the issue with a football season-specific campaign called "Know When to P.A.S.S. (Person Appointed to Stay Sober)." The goal is to increase awareness of the consequences of game day drinking and to encourage fans to pass the keys to a sober driver when they plan to drink.

Game day drinking and driving, whether to celebrate a professional or college football game, is a serious problem in Texas and across the nation. A University of Colorado study found that college home football games are associated with a 13 percent increase in arrests for drunk driving. Also, in Texas, alcohol is accounting for more and more of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. In 2006, driving under the influence of alcohol accounted for 26.5 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. In 2011, this percentage had increased to 34.8 percent.

Football game days are among the heaviest for alcohol consumption, according to a 2007 University of Texas study. And, a 2009 TxDOT research report shows that 45 percent of Texans who drink while at a football watching party report driving home.

In 2011, more than 1,400 DUI alcohol crashes in Texas occurred on football game days when a Texas team was playing�approximately 6 percent of all DUI alcohol crashes in the state. TxDOT encourages fans to enjoy the big games, but to be responsible when it comes to game day drinking and to certainly know when to pass the keys to a sober driver.

"Texans love football and love to cheer on their teams with friends and family�oftentimes while drinking," said Carol Rawson, TxDOT Traffic Operations Director. "TxDOT certainly shares the state's love of football, but we want to be sure that fans 'Know When to P.A.S.S.' the keys to a designated driver. The best way to celebrate a great game of football is to plan ahead and, if you plan to drink, plan on having a sober ride home."

This football season, TxDOT's "Know When to P.A.S.S." initiative will be visiting cities and football games across the state to remind fans that if drinking is in their playbook, they should pass their keys to a sober receiver.

The tour will start at the end of October with stops in:

-El Paso: October 29�30
-Lubbock: November 1�3 (The University of Texas vs. Texas Tech)
-Dallas: November 5�6
-San Antonio: November 11-13 (Rock n' Roll Marathon)
-Houston: November 15�16
-College Station: November 17-18 (Sam Houston State vs. Texas A&M)
-Austin: November 22�27 (Texas Christian University vs. The University of Texas)
-Rio Grande Valley: November 29-30

Fans can follow the "Know When to Pass" truck on its journey by liking the "Texans Know When to Pass" Facebook page:

Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at Fan us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter .

SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

Source: Hispanic PR Wire

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