Football season is in full swing and that means tailgate parties are back. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will be visiting college campuses all over the state this fall to drive home that message.
TxDOT is launching a new campaign this week to encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly.
The agency is revealing the lives forever changed by drunk drivers.
It starts out with someone having a little too much fun.
"I was taking shot after shot, got in the car, and just started driving," A man identified as Walter explains in a public service announcement. "Saw those red and blue lights and I knew I was going to jail," a move that's totally preventable but keeps on happening.
According to TxDOT, statewide in 2020, 963 people were killed by driving under the influence.
On average, the agency reports someone died in Texas every nine hours in 2020, a harsh reality for people like Analicia.
"A drunk driver took my mother from me," Analicia says in the PSA, "I wish that he could see the pain. I just want him to see my face."
Pam's 25-year-old son was taken too soon.
His blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit.
"He shouldn't have been driving," Pam recalled in the PSA. "The medical examiner told me he died instantly. Never thought I'd have to write one of my kid's obituaries."
Drive sober: no regrets, that's the message from TxDOT this week, revealing the shattered families behind the statistics.
Andres is one of those drivers that made a costly mistake.
"I missed out on a couple of years of my college life. I didn't get to go to parties. I didn't get to meet new friends," Andres explained. "I had to pick up shifts so I could pay for my probation."
It cost him more than $10,000.
His message is simple, don't make the same mistake.
TxDOT is encouraging drivers to get an Uber or Lyft, catch a cab or just call anyone else that is sober.
"Just don't drink and drive," Walter warned. It's not worth it."
According to TxDOT, the agency said getting a DUI can cost up to $17,000 in fines, along with jail time.
The guilty party would also lose their license or even worse, claim a life.