With the Mexican Independence Day weekend approaching, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds travelers to appoint a sober driver and stay safe during a time that historically sees an increase in the number of alcohol-related crashes. TxDOT's awareness campaign, Toma> Maneja> Carcel, aims to reach the state's growing Hispanic population, which annually accounts for 38 percent of all alcohol-related crashes. Those numbers climb even higher among young Hispanic males ages 18-34 who annually account for nearly half (47 percent) of all alcohol-related crashes involving adult male drivers in that age group.
"Holiday gatherings often involve alcohol and long-distance travel, so we ask that drivers not mix the two and instead use caution on the roadways and refrain from drinking at family barbecues, parties and other celebrations," said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. "Don't let a joyous occasion with family and friends turn tragic."
This year's Toma> Maneja> Carcel campaign includes Spanish-language TV spots featuring testimonials from Hispanic drivers who were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. These spots are airing around key holidays, including Dies y Seis.
TxDOT also is using these testimonials as longer-form, educational videos designed to resonate with newly arrived immigrants, Hispanic visitors and first-generation Hispanics. These videos are distributed to Hispanic social outreach organizations and foreign consulates, as well as Spanish-language driver's education and alcohol awareness courses. Additionally, TxDOT works with organizations across the state to provide Spanish-language and culturally relevant educational materials on Texas impaired driving laws and the dangers of drinking and driving.