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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

TXST students must fight drinking and driving statistic

Abby Funderburk

Although many college students are told their entire lives to never drink and drive, the statistics in the U.S. regarding alcohol-related crashes are terrifying.

San Marcos has the fourth highest DWI fatality rate according to statistics from TxDOT. San Marcos is notably the smallest town among the top 10 DWI fatality rates in Texas, but most people are not aware of it until they are directly impacted by it.

As residents of San Marcos, Texas State students must realize the severity of this issue and become more aware of the lifelong damage that comes from driving under the influence.

Texas State sets strict alcohol policies such as zero tolerance for alcohol in dorms and careful protocols for Texas State events. However, it is well known that students associate the “college experience” with drinking. In addition, Texas State is ranked as the sixth highest party school in Texas.

While most students attending parties plan on having a designated driver or taking an Uber, the plans are not always followed after students begin to drink and their judgement becomes clouded.

Most people understand the effects alcohol can have on the body and mind. One obvious consequence of drinking is the inability to make rational decisions. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol can cause a person to lose control of their judgement and affect their memory. Someone who has been drinking is not always going to remember a plan they made with friends before they started drinking.

In 2016, a Texas State student made the decision to drink and drive and killed a man. According to Barrus Injury Lawyers, the student “left [the man’s] five‐months‐pregnant wife in critical condition.” The student was sentenced to 14 years in prison and charged with two counts of manslaughter for the man and his unborn child

This student now has a criminal record and took someone’s life because of the decision to drink and drive.

Across the U.S., about 30 people lose their lives at the hands of a drunk driver every day. On a nationwide level, alcohol impairment was responsible for 32% of all U.S. fatal car crashes in 2022. In Texas alone, there are about 75 drunk driving accidents each day. While not all crashes result in fatalities, about 56% result in injury. This is equivalent to “three people dying every day of the year.”

Drinking and driving is one of the deadliest aspects of American life. To bring awareness to alcohol abuse, April is Alcohol Awareness Month. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) uses this month to recognize those who have died due to drinking and driving and prevent more people from suffering this loss.

“This month serves as an important reminder to engage in conversations about the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption and to encourage safe and responsible behavior,” ABC Director Joseph McCullough said.

College students need to become more aware of the weight deciding to get behind the wheel while drunk holds, and the risk it places on their lives and others’.

Texas State offers many recovery options such as the Student Recovery Alliance that holds meetings each Wednesday and different alcohol‐free ways to have fun such as activities at the Recreation Center.

Don’t become another statistic.

-Emma Hall is a journalism sophomore

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor in Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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