is urging young people across the Lone Star State to stay sober behind the wheel as they celebrate spring break in the weeks ahead.

During last year's spring break, the Texas Department of Transportation recorded 417 crashes involving young drivers who were under the influence of alcohol. Among those crashes, 26 people were killed and more than 50 people were seriously injured.

The department released a spring break sober driving news release Friday informing young people of the dangers of drinking and driving.

“Drinking and driving is a dangerous and often deadly choice that can ruin the future of a young driver and all those involved in a crash,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said in the release. “This Spring Break, be responsible and plan ahead for a sober ride.”

Impaired driving not only risks death or serious injuries, but it can also be costly. Drivers who are found to be under the influence can face up to $17,000 in fines and fees, jail time and loss of their driver's license.

Instead, anyone who plans to take part in drinking should have a designate a sober driver in advance, use mass transit, hail a cab or ride-share service or spend the night at a safe location.

TxDOT's message is part of the agency's “End the Streak” campaign, which strives to secure the first deathless day on Texas roads since Nov. 7, 2000.

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