The Super Bowl is America's most watched national sporting event.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Huron County Sheriff's Office are urging football fans to choose sides now: Drinking or driving. If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

The "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road.

Statistics from the NHTSA reveal there were 10,322 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States in 2012 -- 31 percent of all crash fatalities in the nation. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, the legal limit in all states. This Feb. 1 don't become a tragic Super Bowl statistic.

"Drunk driving is completely preventable," Sheriff Dane Howard said. "All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it's a choice. Drink or drive -- but never do both."

For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it's a friend, relative, taxi or public transportation.

For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks.

"Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life," Howard said.

What is your role?

Are you drinking? If so, don't drive.

Follow these tips to have fun, stay alive and avoid getting pulled over or crashing your vehicle on game day:

  • Before Super Bowl Sunday, make a game plan that includes a sober driver -- someone who is not drinking at all.
  • Leave your keys at home and designate a sober driver.
  • Consider getting a sober ride or taxi to your destination, so you won't have the option later to drive impaired.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Keep track of the number of drinks you consume.
  • Stop drinking after the third quarter -- just like they do at the actual stadium.
  • Make sure your designated driver is sober, not just less intoxicated than you.
  • Don't let others drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home, too. If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you; or, if possible, stay where you are for the night and don't drive until you are sober.
  • When you ride home with your sober driver, wear your seat belt. It's your best defense in a crash.
  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. 

Are you driving?

If so, don't drink. Your responsible choices can save lives.

  • Take your role seriously as the designated sober driver -- don't drink and drive.
  • Enjoy the party with food and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Brag about your MVP status on social media using the hashtag "#designated driver."
  • Wear your seat belt and require your passengers to do the same.
  • If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely. They will thank you later. Fans don't let fans drive drunk.

Are you hosting a Super Bowl party?

Plan now how you will prevent your guests from driving drunk and help get them home safely:

  • Ask all of your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers. If you plan to stay sober, offer to drive guests home.
  • Encourage your drinking guests to pace themselves.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter -- this is a good time to serve coffee and dessert.
  • Thank the designated sober drivers at your party. You even could acknowledge them on social media using the hashtag "#designateddriver."
  • Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from any guests who are thinking of driving drunk.
  • Remember, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a drunk-driving crash that night, you could be held liable.
  • If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or guardian may be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
  • Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to -- or host a party where alcohol is available to -- those under age 21, could face jail time.

Are you aware of the risks?

Drunk driving is a serious problem with serious consequences. Don't become a Super Bowl statistic.

  • In 2012 alone, there were 10,322 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes -- 31 percent of all crash fatalities.
  • An average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 51 minutes in 2012.
  • Drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver's licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs and lost wages due to time off from work.
  • The average DUI case costs about $10,000.
  • Refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions results in immediate arrest, the loss of your driver's license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle. Also, there is the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.
  • If you injure or kill someone in a drunk-driving crash, it's something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.


Source: Norwalk Reflector


Last updated on: 2015-01-21 | Link to this post