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Pass the Keys to a Sober Driver Before
the Big Game Begins
BISMARCK, N.D. – As Super Bowl Sunday approaches this weekend, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is helping promote the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) campaign Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. This campaign is to urge all football fans to call the right play on Super Bowl weekend by passing the keys to a sober driver before the drinking begins. Scheduled for Sunday, February 5, the Super Bowl remains America’s most watched national sporting event, and for many, the celebration may include drinking alcohol. Nationally, historical data has shown that alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and driving under the influence increase in the hours following the Super Bowl, so in order to stay safe, it is important to plan ahead and make arrangements for a sober ride home.
A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and reaction times enough to make driving unsafe. Last year in North Dakota, 43 percent of motor vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related.
To help fans prep for the big game, NDDOT and NHTSA offer the following tips to have fun while keeping everyone safe.
Top 5 Tips If You Plan to Drink:
- Download and use NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app. The app helps people connect with a safe ride home by calling a taxi or a friend and by identifying the app user’s location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
- Make sure your designated driver is actually sober. If he or she decided to drink unexpectedly, don’t worry about insulting them. Call a cab, use the SaferRide app, or call someone else who you know hasn’t been drinking.
- When you ride home with your sober driver, make sure you—and your driver—wear a seat belt. It’s your best defense in a crash.
- Remember, walking impaired can also be dangerous. Designate a sober friend to walk home with you.
- If you find yourself unable to get home safely, ask the host if you can stay for the night.
Top 5 Tips If You Plan to Drive:
- Don’t drink. Be a designated sober driver, help save lives.
- Always wear your seat belt and require your passengers to do the same. Don’t start the vehicle until everyone buckles up.
- Remember: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely. Even if they make a fuss in the moment, they’ll thank you later.
- Don't assume that not being able to have alcohol means not being able to have delicious drinks. Try non-alcoholic versions of those favorite drinks, smoothies or shakes.
- Find a friend who doesn't drink. Perhaps this friend is also a designated driver for the same occasion. This can be a great person to team up with for the evening.
Top 5 Tips If You’re Hosting the Party:
- Ask your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them coordinate with other guests’ designated drivers.
- Encourage your drinking guests to pace themselves, eat food, and drink plenty of water.
- Serve a selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
- Do not serve alcohol to minors. If an underage person drinks and drives, the person who served the alcohol can be held liable for any damage, injury, or death caused by the underage driver. In fact, you could face jail time if you host a party where alcohol is served to people under the age of 21.
- If you don’t drink, offer to drive guests home, or invite them to stay the night.
This Super Bowl weekend, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Remember: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at ndcodefortheroad.org or join the conversation on the Code for the Road Facebook or Twitter page. Memorials to North Dakota crash fatalities can be seen at ndcodefortheroad.org/memorial.