AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is sounding the alarm as too many people are dying or getting injured in alcohol-related crashes locally.
Rounding out the the top five in the state for alcohol-related crashes, Odessa, Midland, Amarillo, Arlington, And Waco.
“Amarillo is number three in the state of Texas,” said Jason Britsch, Public Information Officer for TxDOT Amarillo District. “Usually, when you’re in the top five or something in the state, it’s usually a good thing. But when it comes to something like this, this is something you don’t want to be anywhere near top five, top ten, top fifteen, top fifty, you know.”
Britsch tells KAMR that from 2020 to 2022, Amarillo averaged 244 alcohol-impaired car crashes, six fatalities and 129 injuries per year.
Statewide, in 2022, 2,936 alcohol-related crashes were reported between 2 and 2:59 A.M., which is more than any other hour of the day. Alcohol-related crashes were reported more on Saturday than any other day of the week.
“That is just absolutely way too high. And the the saddest thing about all of that is that since they are alcohol related, they’re preventable. That’s the saddest thing about it is they these numbers have no business being as high as they are,” he said.
Britsch told myhighplains.com that they want people to have a good time, but do so responsibly.
“We want them to have a good time as well, but also they need to be smart about it. If you’re gonna go out and you know alcohol is gonna be involved and you’re gonna be out drinking with friends or family or anything like that, plan ahead. Have a sober driver, have a designated driver out there, use city transportation. Call a taxi, rideshare, Uber, Lyft. If you have that option and it’s at say it’s at a friend or someone’s house, stay the night. Anything you can do to not get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking is going to really it could it could save life,” he explained.
Another reason not to drink and drive, and we all know it, it’s illegal.
“If you get for first time DWI offense, when you add up everything from attorney fees, court costs, bail costs, you know, having towing costs, you know, anything like that having to sign up for alcohol classes, on average in the state of Texas for first time DWI offense, it could cost you anywhere from ten to fifteen thousand dollars,” Britsch said.
For more information on drinking and driving prevention, click here.