Every 90 seconds, someone is injured from drunk driving accidents, according to DoSomething.org.
To start off Homecoming Week at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Student Activities along with the Health and Wellness program, PEP TALK and Aramark put together Homecoming Sober Spirits to educate students about staying safe from the weeklong festivities.
“We are showing students how to have fun at homecoming, but doing it sober,” said Chelsea Nkruanh, SGA president, Pep Talk officer. “We know that homecoming is crazy so we are trying to give them alternatives.”
Booths were set out around the pavilion, each having their own set of activities to present to students about Sober Sprits.
Aramark was serving spirit drinks to remind students that they can enjoy their time without the alcohol.
“They will be at a booth and pretty much give fun drinks out there where you can drink them and then have fun but not have the whole alcohol persona to do it,” said Nkruanh.
In America on average, nearly 12,000 people die every year in DUI-related accidents. 900,000 are arrested each year for DUI/DWI, according to DrinkingAndDriving.org.
In the U.S., drivers who are under the age of 21 adhere to a no-tolerance policy for those that have alcohol in their blood system behind the wheel. If arrested, they are subject to fines, loss of license or even some jail time.
The penalties for a DUI in Texas on a first offense: minimum jail 3 to 180 days, fines and penalties up to $2,000 unless a child under 15 is in a car and license suspension 90 to 365 days.
The second offense leads to 20 days to one year of jail time, up to $4,000 on fines and penalties, license suspension is 180 days to 2 years.
The third offense leads to minimum jail time 2 years, fines and penalties up to $10,000, license suspension 180 days to 2 years, according to dui.drivinglaws.org.
In the spring of 2014, TAMUK lost a fellow Javelina, Jaqueline Olivares on January 18. She was in a car accident, sitting on the passenger seat of a white pickup truck. The driver gave off an alcohol odor, indicating that he had been drinking. Olivares was only 20 years old, studying communications, science disorders (CSDO).
Drinking can keep the brain from functioning properly and can lead the person into doing something harmful to themselves and others.
“The alcohol is impairing your thinking,” Jo Elda Castillo-Alaniz, PEP TALK advisor, and director of student health and wellness. “Our hopes are that the student walks away having a piece of information that they didn’t have before regarding alcohol.”
Homecoming is a time of celebrating the Javelina pride and cheering on the football players, with all the excitement it is so easy to get carried away, the Homecoming Kickoff events purpose is that students stay safe and have those Sober Spirits alive.