Safetynet logo. The Center for Transportation Safety.

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1

Record Attendance at the 2020 Texas Impaired Driving Forum Speaks to Growing Concerns over Preventable Crashes

 

“For the second year in a row, the Texas Impaired Driving Task Force recognized and honored individuals who are going above and beyond to reduce and prevent impaired driving in Texas,” said TxDOT Alcohol and Other Drug Countermeasures Program Manager Allison Rounsavall.

“The annual forum gives us the opportunity to not only pull together community stakeholders toward a common mission of reducing impaired driving crashes but also to recognize those outstanding individuals who practice, every day, what we preach,” explains TTI Research Scientist and CADES Director Troy Walden.

Chief Jonathan Flores, Alton PD


District Attorney Jaime Esparza,
El Paso County District Attorney's Office


Lieutenant Susan Cotter,
Harris County Sheriff’s Office


Senior Officer Samantha Baldwin,
Corpus Christi PD

Officer Alex Singleton,
Rosenberg PD

For More Information

Paige Ericson-Graber

 

Email Bio
Resources

For More Information

Troy Walden

 

Email Bio
Resources

Every year, nearly one-third of fatal traffic crashes in Texas involve alcohol and/or drugs. Impaired driving crashes and injuries are preventable. The preventable nature of impaired driving crashes is why the Texas Impaired Driving Task Force (TxIDTF) was established with the mission of eliminating impaired driving in Texas once and for all.

 

Each year, the TxIDTF hosts the Texas Impaired Driving Forum. The event is organized and coordinated by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Center for Alcohol and Drug Education Studies (CADES) and sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

 

This year, a record number of 250 professionals attended the forum in San Marcos, Texas, on Feb. 12. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in several breakout sessions. Two notable sessions were Driving Behavioral Change through Messaging, where participants learned about the evolution of impaired driving messaging campaigns in Colorado and Texas, and Safe Night Out, where Master Police Officer Jim Mastoras (Arlington, Virginia) described an innovative approach for managing nightlife in a busy entertainment district in his state.

 

“We always look forward to being able to gather and exchange knowledge and ideas for reducing impaired driving in Texas,” says TTI Assistant Research Scientist Paige Ericson-Graber, who helps coordinate the event. “We have a long way to go, but coming together each year is one step we can take toward ultimately achieving our mission of eliminating impaired driving.”

 

The 2020 Forum served as a platform for bestowing the annual Texas Impaired Driving Safety Awards. This year, TxIDTF recognized six outstanding individuals for their contributions to reducing or deterring impaired driving in Texas.

 

“For the second year in a row, the Texas Impaired Driving Task Force recognized and honored individuals who are going above and beyond to reduce and prevent impaired driving in Texas,” says TxDOT Alcohol and Other Drug Countermeasures Program Manager Allison Rounsavall. “The dedication of those who have been awarded can clearly be seen through their advocacy, enforcement, and education and outreach efforts on the dangers of impaired driving.”

 

The 2020 award recipients were:

Impaired Driving Traffic Safety Champion

• District Attorney Jaime Esparza, El Paso County District Attorney’s Office

 

Impaired Driving Difference Maker

• Lieutenant Susan Cotter, Harris County Sheriff’s Office

 

Honorable Mentions

• Senior Officer Samantha Baldwin, Corpus Christi PD

• Officer Marshal Field, Bryan PD

• Chief Jonathan Flores, Alton PD

• Officer Alex Singleton, Rosenberg PD

 

“The annual forum gives us the opportunity to not only pull together community stakeholders toward a common mission of reducing impaired driving crashes but also to recognize those outstanding individuals who practice, every day, what we preach,” explains TTI Research Scientist and CADES Director Troy Walden. “Each year, I’m encouraged by the forum’s growth and the commitment of participants.”