Unsafe Early Hours
In the ten-year period from 2012 to 2021, more than 37 percent of traffic fatalities in Texas involved drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. The majority of these fatalities occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday. Driving under the influence (DUI) crash fatalities are highest among males between the ages of 19 and 32.
2020 Reversal of Downward Trend
DUI driving was identified as a factor for 13,536 fatalities (37 percent of all traffic fatalities) from 2012 to 2021. Although traffic volumes fell significantly in 2020 following shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, DUI fatalities increased, reversing a slight downward trend that began in 2018.
Note: All charts in this data portal are current as of the publishing data, and are updated as new data becomes available.
Peak Fatality Days and Hours Linked to DUI
The data shows that fatal crashes — resulting from the choice to drink or use drugs and drive — spike dramatically in the early-morning hours of Saturday and Sunday.
Note: DWI penalties are severe. Under Texas law, a person commits a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense when the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
You are legally intoxicated in Texas when your blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%, but you are breaking the law as soon as drugs or alcohol affect your driving — or flying or boating — ability.
It is illegal in Texas for people under the age of 21 to consume any amount of alcohol.
What TxDOT Is Doing
Reaching Young Drivers
Statewide traffic safety campaigns targeting impaired driving are timed to coincide with increased traffic enforcement during holidays and major events. The Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign uses a peer-to-peer approach to motivate drivers to always find a sober ride. If they believe “Bad things can happen to me”, they are more likely to make a good decision the next time they drink. Through video testimonials, people convicted of a DWI (driving while intoxicated) candidly share the impacts and consequences that result from their DWI conviction.
TxDOT’s interactive Consequences Spinner shows how a night could end if drivers have been drinking, along with the range of consequences associated with choosing to drive impaired. In 2021, TxDOT partnered with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Responsibility.org to secure a $25,000 ride share grant from Lyft. Over 700 Lyft Rideshare coupons worth $15 have been distributed through the Consequences Spinner.
TxDOT’s traffic safety specialists coordinate events at schools throughout the state, providing education, outreach, and grants. Project Celebration combines education with lock-in events conducted by educators, parents, and community partners to help keep students safe and alcohol-free throughout the school year, especially during school-related celebrations. As part of the larger effort to reduce fatalities and serious injuries among young people, Project Celebration was revamped and elevated from a local to a statewide competition. Student-produced public service announcements (PSAs) compete at the district level, with each district’s first-place winners advancing the statewide competition.
The 2022 Project Celebration winners were:
- 1st Place - Fort Worth District | Granbury High School
- 2nd Place - Atlanta District | Texas High School
- 3rd Place - Pharr District | Falfurrias High School
Find rules, guidelines, and supplemental materials for the Project Celebration PSA competition at TxDOT.gov (keywords: Project Celebration).
Drive Sober. No Regrets.
The Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign aims to save lives and reduce crashes among young people. It emphasizes the fact that drunk driving can have serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences that can last for years. A DWI can cost thousands and cause legal hassles, difficulty finding or keeping a job, loss of trust from loved ones, and regret. The human toll of a DUI crash can devastate the lives of victims and survivors forever.