The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched a series of mini telenovelas this month in an effort to extend the message to the Hispanic community about the consequences of drinking and driving. TxDOT is one of the first U.S. state agencies to tackle the dangers of drinking and driving through the telenovela format, which is very popular in the Spanish-speaking community.
The telenovelas aired as thirty second and two minute spots on Univision, Estrella, and Telefutura during the evening news for two weeks in late November.
The three, two-minute episodes will also be available online on Youtube.
Drinking and driving poses a great danger for Hispanics in Texas, where they make up over one third of the population. Key statistics:
• 36% of all DUI fatalities in Texas in 2009 occurred in crashes were a Hispanic driver was under the influence of alcohol. (TxDOT, CRIS)
• 14,643 Hispanic drivers in Texas were involved in alcohol related crashes in 2009. Of these, 72% were under the influence of alcohol.(TxDOT, CRIS)
• Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanics one to 44 years of age, and 15 percent of U.S.-born Mexican Americans had a DUI within the past 12 months according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.