TxDOT's 'Faces' campaign to show personal impact of drunk drivin - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

TxDOT's 'Faces' campaign to show personal impact of drunk driving

Chilli Vasquez (Source: TxDOT) Chilli Vasquez (Source: TxDOT)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

As the fourth of July holiday approaches, one Texas agency is going to great lengths to share how drunk driving impacts people.

With the help of DWI crash victims, TxDOT is hosting a "Faces of Drunk Driving" campaign.

Nearly 1,200 people were killed and more than 9,400 people were seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes in Texas in 2012, and TxDOT officials say they want to make people aware of how those crashes affect lives.

"Texas leads the nation in drunk driving fatalities and drunk driving crashes, so you know, this is a problem that all of us face every day, and I think one of the key messages of this program is to say, even if you're doing everything right, you can still be a victim of drunk driving," said Larry Krantz, the spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation - Tyler District.

TxDOT says the fourth of July is one of the deadliest times of year on Texas's roadways. Last year, there were 133 alcohol-related crashes over the holiday.

TxDOT officials say it's important to remember that the real victims of drunk driving aren't the people who drive drunk; they are the people whose lives are changed in a split-second because someone else decided to drive drunk.

"These are people who have been hit by drunk drivers, and the idea is to show that the pain that they've suffered is real and that this can happen to you out on the road, whether you are the intoxicated driver or you are the person who has the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Krantz.

At the center of the campaign is 9-year old Chilli Vasquez of Fort Worth. Chilli was hit by a drunk driver on July 9, 2011, just three days before her eighth birthday. Now she's paralyzed from the chest down.

"I think that takes a minute to kind of set in, the fact that you're doing everything right and your world still comes to a screeching halt because you're paralyzed or your child dies or your family is killed and you're not there because of being hit by a drunk driver," Krantz said. "This is real. These things can happen. They do happen."

TxDOT officials say the most important thing you can do over the holiday and long weekend is plan for a designated driver or for a safe way home if you're planning to drink.

The "Faces of Drunk Driving" campaign will last through the month of July. Families of drunk-driving victims will join safety advocates and law enforcement officers to share their stories at events across the state.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT: Alberto picks up speed, expected rainfall totals decrease

    FIRST ALERT: Alberto picks up speed, expected rainfall totals decrease

    Sunday, May 27 2018 12:17 PM EDT2018-05-27 16:17:57 GMT
    Subtropical storm Alberto will bring rain to Southwest Georgia the rest of this week and into next week. (Source: WALB)Subtropical storm Alberto will bring rain to Southwest Georgia the rest of this week and into next week. (Source: WALB)

    The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season makes its debut before the season officially begins.

    More >>

    The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season makes its debut before the season officially begins.

    More >>
  • Radium Springs resident wants to see residential improvements after 2017 storms

    Radium Springs resident wants to see residential improvements after 2017 storms

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:09 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:09:43 GMT
    Every morning when Chris Reetz walks out her front door she sees this broken trees and destroyed houses that were once homes for families. (Source: WALB)Every morning when Chris Reetz walks out her front door she sees this broken trees and destroyed houses that were once homes for families. (Source: WALB)

    It's been 16 months since the January 2017 tornado ripped thorough Southwest Georgia.

    More >>

    It's been 16 months since the January 2017 tornado ripped thorough Southwest Georgia.

    More >>
  • American Red Cross preparedness tips ahead of flash flooding

    American Red Cross preparedness tips ahead of flash flooding

    Sunday, May 27 2018 12:12 AM EDT2018-05-27 04:12:40 GMT
    The American Red Cross said they are prepare before the storms hit. (Source: WALB)The American Red Cross said they are prepare before the storms hit. (Source: WALB)
    The American Red Cross said they are prepare before the storms hit. (Source: WALB)The American Red Cross said they are prepare before the storms hit. (Source: WALB)

    Here in Southwest Georgia the American Red Cross has been working the last couple of days to prepare for the storm.  The American Red Cross has been getting their relief supplies ready across the 19 county region.  

    More >>

    Here in Southwest Georgia the American Red Cross has been working the last couple of days to prepare for the storm.  The American Red Cross has been getting their relief supplies ready across the 19 county region.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly