The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released a new educational video to better inform Hispanic drivers about the personal and financial costs of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction in the state of Texas.

The Spanish-language video features DWI testimonials from Hispanic drivers convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Texas. The educational video is designed to resonate with recently immigrated and first-generation Hispanics in particular; research suggests they may be less likely to know about DWI laws because they may come from countries where DWI laws are different or are not enforced consistently. TxDOT is sharing the video with organizations such as AVANCE and foreign consulates as well as Spanish-language driver’s education and alcohol awareness courses.

“TxDOT’s goal is to increase awareness among the Hispanic community about the dangers of drinking and driving. We want to make sure that more people know that driving under the influence of alcohol is never acceptable,” said Carol Rawson, director, Traffic Operations Division of TxDOT.

In the educational video, several Spanish-speaking Hispanics talk about their DWI convictions, including a married man whose license was suspended after an alcohol-related crash; a mother whose children were in the car with her when she was arrested for DWI; and a woman arrested for driving under the influence after a night out drinking with her friends.

Data from 2011 shows that:

  • 37 percent of all DUI fatalities in Texas occurred in crashes where a Hispanic driver was under the influence of alcohol.
  • 33 percent of all Hispanic DUI drivers involved in crashes had a blood alcohol level of .08 or more.
  • Hispanics represent 38 percent of the Texas population according to U.S. Census data.

This new effort builds on TxDOT’s telenovela-style PSA campaign launched in 2011. The telenovela PSAs features Hispanic families and friends discussing Texas’ DWI laws and the consequences for being convicted of a driving under the influence

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