FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
BE THE MVP OF SAFE DRIVING ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY MVA
Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk
(GLEN BURNIE, MD) January 31, 2013 – When the Baltimore Ravens meet the San Francisco 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday, families, friends and fans will gather to watch the game and many will drink. Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk is the message that all should adopt. Designate a sober driver.
In Maryland, crashes during the Super Bowl are 50% more likely to involve an impaired driver than at any other time of the year. During the New Year’s Holiday, 11% of crashes involved an impaired driver. During the St. Patrick’s Day Holiday, 9% of crashes involved an impaired driver. On Super Bowl Sunday, 13% of crashes involved an impaired driver.
Designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday is the message shared by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office, the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, the Maryland State Police, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management), along with the National Football League.
“Avoid the unsportsmanlike conduct of driving drunk. Hand off your keys so that you, your passengers and everyone else on our roads can safely arrive home,” said John Kuo, Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Administration, and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Drunk driving kills. Maryland’s law enforcement officers will be out Super Bowl Sunday, looking to stop and cite anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive.”
According to the NHTSA, 10,228 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2010. These drunk-driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States. In addition, alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was almost twice as high during the weekend (31%) than during weekdays (16%) and four times higher at night (37%) than during the day (9%).*
“Maryland’s law enforcement community will be coordinating efforts to conduct DUI saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the weekend to ensure that the roadways are safe for all motorists,” said the Maryland Chiefs of Police president, and Maryland State Police Superintendent, Colonel Marcus Brown.
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. If possible, stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
- Take advantage of a free cab ride in the DC metro area (www.wrap.org/soberride).
- 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:
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert.
- 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.
- Parents or other adults, who provide alcohol to those under age 21 at a party, could face jail time. Underage drivers will be required to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles.
- 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.
- Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
For more information, please visit http://tinyurl.com/a3oh29z.