BELL COUNTY, TX — A Bell County woman is warning drivers stay safe and sober during one of the deadliest weekends of the year to prevent another tragedy like the one her family experienced.
”I dread any holidays,” says Nancy Pratt, who lost her daughter six years ago on FM-1670 when a driver in a pickup tried to pass another vehicle and hit her car head-on on a Sunday afternoon.
She says drunk drivers can and do kill any time, but especially on holidays.
"[People think] the New Year must be the heaviest drinking. If it's not New Year's then it's 4th of July, but actually it's Super Bowl Sunday," she said.
Texas has a terrible track record regarding drunk driving. In 2018, more than 3,600 people died on Texas roads. More than 1,400, nearly 40%, were alcohol related. Almost 1,000, 27%, involved a blood alcohol level of more than 0.15, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Super Bowl plan is this Sunday at my brother's house," said Luis Estrada of Belton.
Bold Republic Brewing says customer care and moderation brings return business.
”Community over consumption is something that's been our mission from day one," explained Bold Republic's Patrick Hodges.
Because you'll find patrols out in force.
So, how do you keep from becoming a statistic on super bowl weekend? The secret, they say is picking your designated driver before you even leave.
That's the Estrada plan.
”I just don't drink so much anyway, so why not designate myself to bring us home safely?” said Bettina Estrada.
Because even though talking about the loss of her daughter brings Pratt to tears, she hopes if just one person listens to her pleas, one more daughter can come home to her family on the biggest drinking day of the year.
"It's hard, you know, children aren't supposed to die before their parents," said Pratt.
Remember, any place you have ongoing construction, like Waco or I-14 through Nolanville and Harker Heights, will only increase the danger.
Those 2018 statistics show Texas as the nation's leader in drunk driving, with almost 100 more deaths than the next most deadly state, California.