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TX-DOT Campaign Targets Drunk Drivers

By ABC-7 News Anchor/Reporter Abe Lubetkin

EL PASO — If you see reindeer antlers on a bathroom mirror this holiday season, it isn’t a prank.

It’s actually the latest campaign from TX-DOT, designed to keep you from drinking and driving this holiday season.

The campaign features reindeer antlers on bathroom mirrors in bars, next to signs warning people not to get “blitzen” and drive.

“Blitzen” is one of Santa’s reindeer and “blitzed” is another term for drunk.

“The idea is to get past the resistance some people might have to our message and try to approach it in a different way,” said TX-DOT safety specialist James Chesshire.

While the idea is humorous, the message is serious: don’t drink and drive. “Call a cab. Call a friend. Call somebody,” Chesshire said.

TX-DOT isn’t just using mirror antlers. The agencyis distributing drink coasters, playing jukebox messages, and sponsoring billboards.

“We expect that during December alone, there are going to be close to a 1000 people who will die during this holiday season,” Chesshire said.

It was during this time in 2007 that Edison Bayas drove drunk and killed 19-year-old Valerie Talamantes at Montana and Hawkins. Bayas is now serving a 15 year prison sentence.

“If you’re a person of about 150 pounds and you’ve had three drinks in an hour, chances are you’re going to meet that requirement – you’re going to be intoxicated,” Chesshire said.

TX-DOT is paying overtime costs for more DWI patrols this month to spot and catch drunk drivers.

Sun City Cab is offering free rides homes to people over 21 this holiday season. You can call them at 544-2211.

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