Super Bowl Sunday is one of America’s most popular and most entertaining national sporting events, but it’s also one of the most dangerous days on the nation’s roadways, due in part to the thousands of fans who drive under the influence of alcohol each year. If you plan on consuming alcohol while supporting your favorite team this Super Bowl Sunday, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes you’ll be smart and pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before you ever start drinking.
The organization offers the following Super Bowl Sunday facts and talking points in preparation for your big game celebration:
- “Super Bowl Sunday is one of the year’s most dangerous days on the nation’s roadways due to impaired driving.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 130 people, representing 39 percent of all traffic fatalities, died during the 2006 Super Bowl weekend in crashes involving impaired drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08 or higher.
- NHTSA reports that young males, ages 21 to 34, are most likely to be involved in automobile crashes, to drive while impaired and to be among those least likely to wear their safety belts. Research also shows that this same demographic is the core audience for major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.
- But alcohol-related crashes—and fatalities—can be prevented. Designating a sober driver before the Super Bowl party begins is just one of several easy steps to remember to help save lives.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in an impaired driving crash.
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
- Serve lots of food—and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
- 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 get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Use your community’s Sober Rides program.
- Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
- Always buckle up—it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.
Impaired Driving is Deadly Dangerous
- Too many people still don’t understand that alcohol, drugs and driving don’t mix. Impaired driving is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime.
- In 2006, 13,470 people died in highway crashes involving an impaired driver or motorcycle rider with an illegal BAC level of .08% or higher.
- Driving a car or riding a motorcycle while impaired is not worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
- The tragedies and costs from drinking and driving impaired do not just end at potential death, disfigurement, disability or injury. Violators who are caught will be spending their money on bail, court fees, lawyers and towing fees.
- Plus there is the added embarrassment, humiliation and potential loss and consequence after informing family, friends and employers.
- Please remember that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Act responsibly—and pass your keys to a sober driver before the big game begins. The life you save might just be your own.
- For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org or www.TeamCoalition.org.”
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- A study showing that immediate suspension of drivers’ licenses for DWIs saves lives
- Ignition locks that discourage repeat offenders from driving while intoxicated
- Safe holiday party guidelines
For information about your legal rights, please click here or call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at (202) 753-4272.