Last year there were over 25,000 alcohol-related traffic crashes on Texas roadways, resulting in over 1,000 deaths.
With these sobering statistics in mind, TX-Dot is kicking off its Faces of Drunk Driving" campaign that starts June 25th and runs through mid-July.
Ruby Martinez with TX-DOT spoke to Action 4 about the campaign hoping to stop drinking and driving
The campaign seeks to put a human face on the impact of DWI, especially given that the Fourth of July holiday is just around the corner.
Traditionally, Independence Day is among the deadliest holiday periods on Texas highways as a result of alcohol-related crashes. (In 2012, 133 people died in Texas in alcohol-related crashes around the Fourth of July.)
This year's campaign will highlight 9-year-old Xitclalli "Chilli" Vasquez, who was paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a drunk driver in Fort Worth on July 9, 2011 - three days before her eighth birthday.
What's more, law enforcement throughout Texas will conduct a "No Refusal" initiative over the Independence Day weekend.
"No Refusal" operations allow for suspected drunk drivers to be pulled over and legally required to provide police with a breath or blood sample.
Those motorists found to be legally intoxicated (i.e. - with a blood or breath alcohol content of .08 or higher) face arrest and prosecution.
DWI penalties include jail time, suspended driver license and as much as $17,000 or more in fines, legal fees and other expenses.