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The Drunk Driving Test

Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center

Sound | c. 1968

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  •  The reporter is Laredo native Richard Goodman. Goodman moved to Austin in 1968 where he started working for KTBC. He then went on to become the news director and anchor at the newly formed KVUE. He served multiple terms on Austin's city council starting in 1977. He died in 2005 at age 55. 
 
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Produced for the Texas Office of Traffic Safety Administration, this film details the effects of intoxication on an individual's ability to drive—particularly if those individuals are race car drivers. By consuming increasing amounts of bourbon and 7 UP, professional race car drivers serve as test subjects. The driving test demonstrates that even professional drivers fail to competently operate motor vehicles after reaching the point of intoxication. Footage of the initially sober drivers circling the track and dodging pylons contrasts with their clumsy attempts to drive under the influence. Highlights include footage of breathalyzer tests and a race car driver's assertion that he felt alcohol improved his driving.

Established by the Texas Legislature on August 10, 1935, the Texas Department of Public Safety was created by the consolidation of the Texas Highway Motor Patrol with the Texas Rangers. Since that time, its duties have grown to include such activities as the state licensing of drivers, vehicle inspection, narcotics enforcement, and the State Civil Defense Office, (now the Division of Emergency Management,) which aids local governments during times of natural disaster or social upheaval. While its duties have evolved over time, the mission of the DPS has remained constant - to provide public safety services to those people in the state of Texas by enforcing laws, administering regulatory programs, managing records, educating the public, and managing emergencies, both directly and through interaction with other agencies.

This film comes to the TAMI library courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center