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Op/Ed: Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk

If you're partying today, make better choices and don't drive if you're intoxicated.

Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally a specific day where many football fans across the country gather to watch one of the largest viewed sporting events of the year. A great number of fans enjoy indulging in food and alcoholic beverages on this day. If football fans are plan on drinking during this event, designating a sober driver can help increase the chance of avoiding an alcohol-impaired-driving crash. 

By making better choices and taking appropriate steps, the facts provided by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) will aid in having a safe and enjoyable Super Bowl celebration.

Impaired driving can be deadly:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the National Football League (NFL) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, want to remind everyone who will be drinking while watching the Super Bowl to create a game plan to get home safely.

  • In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

  • One way to avoid impaired driving crashes is when everyone huddles up and designates a sober driver to safely transport their friends and family, who have been drinking, home.

  • Designated drivers should be over the age of 21 have a valid driver’s license, and promise to not drink alcohol before or during the game.

  • Designated drivers should be well rested and prepared to drive any distance that is required to get their impaired passengers home safely.

  • Over 175,000 NFL fans pledged to be designated drivers this season – a new record.

Do you know the cost of driving while intoxicated?

  • Having your driving privileges taken from you is not worth a night of drinks.

  • Some past drunk driving offenders have also received additional penalties like higher insurance rates, having their vehicle towed, and high repair costs.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired:

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers before kick-off or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.

  • Find unique ways to reward the designated drivers at your party: Give them a great spot to watch the game.Whatever non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, make sure their glass is always full. Let them have the first pass at the buffet table. Make sure their cars are easy to access when it is time to start driving people home.

  • Serve plenty of food.

  • Offer a variety of non-alcoholic choices like soft drinks, juice, and water.

  • Serve one drink at a time and serve measured drinks.

  • Only serve alcohol to guests over 21 years of age.

  • Determine ahead of time when you’ll stop serving alcohol, such as one hour before the end of the party or at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.

  • Add the numbers of local cab companies into your phone so they are just one touch away.

  • Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:

  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and leave your car keys at home if you plan to drink.

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.

  • Find unique ways to recognize the designated drivers when you are out at a bar or restaurant: Offer to be the designated driver the next time you go out. Cover the cost for parking or even pay for a tank of gas. Whatever non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, make sure their glass is always full. Pick up the tab for their food and drink.

  • Before you go out, add the numbers for local cab companies in your cell phone.

  • Always buckle up – it’s your best defense on the road.

Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive DrunkAdditional information can be found on NHTSA’s Super Bowl XLVI page

Rhonda Thompson, RN, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Trauma Services, 28050 Grand River Avenue, Farmington Hills, MI 48336. rthompson@botsford.org

Don't Drink and Drive February 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM
The image or logo is wrong. It's telling people to Drink and Drive. It's not cossed out like it should be.
Joni Hubred-Golden (Editor) February 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Thanks for pointing that out and submitting another version!

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