TxDOT Spotlights Impact, Loss from Drunk Driving

Date:

An average of 89 Texans were killed every month in alcohol-related crashes in
2023

AUSTIN – We all know that drunk driving is dangerous and yet people still choose to get behind
the wheel impaired, causing on average 65 alcohol-related crashes every day last year. Three
Texans died daily as a result — their lives extinguished at the hands of those who never thought
they would be responsible for a roadside tragedy.

Making the choice to drive drunk instead of finding a sober ride home can lead to serious
consequences, including a lifetime of anguish. This is the painful reality for Charles and Shenica
Trammell of San Antonio, who will never see their child again.   
“We taught our son to serve others, not knowing that he would actually die while doing so,” said
Shenica Trammel. Her 21-year-old son and Texas Wesleyan University football player Charles Jr.
was killed while changing a friend’s tire on the side of the road in Fort Worth.  
“All because someone made the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking,” she said.
  
Shenica and her husband Charles are among the faces seen and voices heard in a traveling
exhibit showcasing first-person testimonial videos by survivors, offenders and those who’ve
suffered the loss of a loved one to a drunk driver.    
July and August are the calendar’s two deadliest months for drunk-driving fatalities. Heading into
these months, TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign is spotlighting these stories of grief
and remorse to emphasize the importance of driving sober and the consequences of drinking and
driving.  

“Drunk driving can change lives forever,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “In the
worst case, families lose loved ones or face devastating injuries. But even when there isn’t a
crash, the decision to drink and drive can ruin careers and relationships. That’s why we want
everyone to know how important and easy it is to always plan ahead for a sober ride.”
Beyond the possibility of taking a life – including your own – driving impaired and getting a DWI
can result in time-consuming legal hassles and fines and fees up to $17,000.

The Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign’s Faces of Drunk Driving overlaps with heightened law
enforcement efforts to keep Texas roads safe during the Independence Day holiday. From June
21 through July 7, increased patrols aim to reduce the number of DUI-related crashes, injuries,
and fatalities.    

Even though the number of drunk driving deaths on Texas roadways in 2023 is down 15% from
2022, we must strive to continue that trend. TxDOT’s Drive Sober. No Regrets. 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. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

Rhonda Oaks
Rhonda Oaks is the Public Information Officer for the nine-county Lufkin District of the Texas Department of Transportation. A Lufkin native, she is a graduate of Hudson High School and Angelina College. She has a background in print journalism and worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer. She has received eight Associated Press awards. Her articles have been published in many publications over the past 25 years.

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