The Maryland State Police has joined forces with the NFL and federal agencies to spread an important safety message to the public about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday - Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk.
Organizations including the NFL, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation know that Super Bowl is a time when fans gather to watch the big game at sports bars, restaurants and parties. However, there are common sense ways to have a good time and avoid tragedy.
Before choosing to drink, choose a sober designated driver. Avoid the unsportsmanlike conduct of driving drunk by handing off your keys so that you, your passengers and everyone on the road can safely arrive home. Drunk driving is always preventable, and driving drunk could result in seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else. Motorists can expect Maryland State Police to have a visible presence and to stop anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive.
If you're attending a 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.
- 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.
- Use your community's sober ride program.
- Never let friends 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.
- Host your party just 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.