Last year alcohol-related crashes in Bryan and College Station reached their highest total in five years. Northgate bars and law enforcement are hoping to reverse that trend with a new campaign that offers free fountain drinks to anyone identifying themselves as the sober driver for the night. Participating Northgate businesses have special red cups ready to give out and fill up with free, non-alcoholic refreshments for those who request them.
The strategy is being implemented and paid for by members of the Coalition for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (C.A.R.E.), which is comprised of representatives from area non-profit organizations, health professionals, law enforcement and businesses. The “Northgate Cares” campaign is just one of many prevention approaches that the coalition is offering to college students in Aggieland—a program that they hope to expand beyond Northgate. Coalition representatives would like every sober driver to be rewarded for being responsible and getting others home safely.
Data from TxDOT shows that in 2013, there were 193 alcohol-related crashes between Bryan and College Station, the highest total since 2008. This, coupled with statistics showing that nearly one in three Texas drunk driving crashes involve a person under the age of 25, shows that the college population is a good place to start for prevention efforts. The C.A.R.E. cups are free to any bar that wants to support sober drivers. They have a message printed on them that reminds sober drivers that they are the “LIFE of the party”.