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Designated Drivers are MVPs – Driving Drunk is not in the Playbook

by Todd Keith
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The Super Bowl is America’s most popular national sporting event. All across the country, millions of people gather to socialize and watch the big game. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with support from the National Football League and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition, has joined forces with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) and law enforcement officials to spread an important message to the public about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday – “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.”

“This message is for everyone who will be drinking during the big game. Make the right play and pass your keys to a designated driver so they can get you home safely,” said Bill Bell, Acting Director, KOHS. “Don’t penalize yourself by making the wrong decision. Our state and local law enforcement agencies will be out to stop anyone who decides to drink and drive.”

In 2010, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.

“We want everyone to enjoy the Super Bowl festivities, but more importantly – we want everyone to arrive home safely,” says Lt. David Jude, a KSP spokesman. “Troopers will increase patrols during and after the game to ensure that happens.”

Driving while impaired could result in a loss of your driver’s license or even worse – the loss of your or someone else’s life. On Super Bowl Sunday, make it a team effort to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. If you plan on driving, plan not to drink alcohol.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

• 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 recognize the designated drivers at your party:
o Give them a great spot to watch the game.
o Whatever non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, make sure their glass is always full.
o Let them have the first pass at the buffet table.
o 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 party ends or at the end of the third quarter (just like NFL stadiums) and begin serving coffee and dessert.
• Add the numbers of local cab companies into your phone so they are just one touch away.
• Take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from drinking and driving.
• Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.
• Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunken-driving crash.

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant, please follow these guidelines to make sure you enjoy Super Bowl XLVI responsibly:

• Designate your sober driver before the party begins.
• Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself – eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
• 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 just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
• Use your community’s sober ride program.
• Always buckle up – it’s the best defense against drunk drivers.
Take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired. Remember
For more information, please visit NHTSA’s Super Bowl XLVI Page

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