Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation through the statewide “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” impaired-driving campaign. AgriLife Extension and the department remind drivers when celebrating the Labor Day holiday to always plan for a sober ride home before they start drinking. Even one life lost is too many.

Remember: A designated driver isn’t someone who is the least drunk but should be a sober driver who hasn’t consumed any amount of alcohol. Everyone celebrating Labor Day this year is responsible for making it one without regrets.

Plan for a sober ride home by a friend or family member, ride-share service or mass transit. Drivers under the influence of alcohol could face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and could lose their licenses.

In 2020, Texas had 958 people killed in motor-vehicle traffic crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This is why AgriLife Extension is working to remind drivers that drunken driving isn’t only illegal but also a matter of life and death.

Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to come together to enjoy the last days of summer. We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of drunken drivers, so that everyone can have a safe holiday.

This is a campaign to get the message out that drunken driving is illegal, and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior.

AgriLife Extension recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

• Remember: It’s never OK to drink and drive. Even after only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or use a ride-sharing service to get home safely.

• Report suspected impaired drivers by calling 911.

• If a driver appears drunk, contact law enforcement immediately.

• Have a friend who’s about to drink and drive? Take their keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.

The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife.

Sharon Mitchiner is a nutrition education associate for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Galveston County.

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