The Super Bowl is one of America’s most highly anticipated sports events, when friends and family gather in homes, bars and restaurants to celebrate. As Super Bowl Sunday draws near, football fans across the country prepare for the game, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the National Football League (NFL) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, have joined forces with local highway safety and law enforcement officials to spread the message about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday, because – Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
According to NHTSA, in 2011, 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. These crashes were 31 percent more likely to occur on weekends than on weekdays.
Whether attending the game, watching at a bar or hosting a party, NHTSA, TEAM Coalition, the NFL and RECARO remind everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Before choosing to drink, choose your team’s MVP – a sober designated driver. NHTSA offers these additional safety tips:
If you’re attending a Collage Bowl Game or Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:
Designate your sober driver before the party begins.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
Keep track of how much you have had to drink
Make sure your ride is sober before letting him/her drive you.
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 and get you; or if possible stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
Always buckle up. It’s still your best defense against other drunk drivers.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- If you plan to stay sober, offer to drive guests home.
- Encourage guests to pace themselves.
- Host your party like they do at the stadium. Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
- If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent 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.
And remember, your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver in a crash.