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Americans love a good party, and Super Bowl LVI is one of the most anticipated. Super Bowl LVI is on Sunday, February 13, 2022. To keep drivers and partygoers safe on the roads, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to remind football fans everywhere that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Whether you’re heading out to a restaurant or a Super Bowl party, if your night involves drinking alcohol, make sure you plan for a designated driver to drive you home safely at the night’s end.
“We want people to enjoy Super Bowl festivities, but we also want responsible drivers on the road,” said Undersheriff John Winchell. “If you are planning to be away from home during the Super Bowl, make a game plan to ensure you don’t find yourself without a designated driver if you need one. If you’re hosting a party, make sure you take care of your designated drivers. Remind your friends and family: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.”
Never Drive Drunk Whether you’re attending a party, hosting one, or going out to a bar, keep safety at the forefront of your night. When it’s time to leave, make sure your designated driver is actually sober. If he or she has decided to drink, call a sober ride. If you are driving, remember that sober driving isn’t the only law that should be followed: Make sure you — and your passengers — wear your seat belts.
Bonus Points for the Designated Drivers If you’re planning to be a designated driver, know that you’re the night’s MVP. No matter what, do not drink alcohol — people are relying on you. If you are attending a party or at a bar, enjoy the food, the company, and the nonalcoholic drinks. Encourage other designated drivers on social media using the hashtag #DesignatedDriver. Your positive influence could help keep them on the right track. 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.
Host Play Book for the Win If you’re hosting a party for this year’s Super Bowl, prepare plenty of snacks and nonalcoholic drinks for your guests and the designated drivers.
Ask your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance. Remind drinking guests that they have a long evening ahead of them, and encourage them to pace themselves, to eat food, and to drink plenty of water. Another important reminder: Never serve alcohol to minors. If an underage person drinks and drives, the person who provided 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 gathering where alcohol is served to people under the age of 21.
Drug-Impaired Driving Penalty Points Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states and the District of Columbia to drive impaired by alcohol or other drugs. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It’s that simple.
Have a Game Plan Whether you are attending a party or going to a bar or restaurant, make a game plan and follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
In many communities, alcohol transport is also different. If your community now allows alcohol for carryout, remember to transport any alcohol for Game Day in a leak-proof container, leaving stickers and seals in place. No straws should be placed in the containers. In many states, open containers are prohibited in any seating area of a vehicle, including the driver's side, passenger side, or back seat, even if the vehicle is stopped or parked. Remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Ensure you are following open container laws.
Only one team wins the Super Bowl, but if you drive drunk, you may lose money, your reputation, your car, and even your life. Everyone should know by now that it is illegal to drive impaired. In 2019, there were 10,142 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.
For more information on the dangers of drunk driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.