Fans don’t let fans drive drunk


COLUMBUS — As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Football League and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition have joined forces with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office to spread the message about designating a sober driver with the message of “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.”

During last year’s Super Bowl, the state troopers made 63 OVI arrests from 6 a.m. Feb. 3 through 6 a.m. Feb. 4. During this 24-hour reporting period, there were three fatalities and 209 injuries resulting from traffic crashes. One of the traffic fatalities and 34 of the injuries were OVI-related.

“While we want people to enjoy the big game, we want them to do so responsibly,” said John Born, Ohio Department of Public Safety director. “We want everyone to take the appropriate steps to ensure they get home safely.”

To help keep the roads safe this Super Bowl weekend, more than 99 local law enforcement agencies around the state will be providing extra enforcement funded by federal grants provided through OTSO.

“We can’t fight the battle against impaired driving on our own — we need your commitment to make our roads safe,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, patrol superintendent.

“You can contribute to a safer Ohio by actively influencing friends and family to make safe, responsible decisions, like planning ahead to designate a driver and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.”

Designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone’s Super Bowl party list along with these tips to stay safe.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

• Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers before kick-off or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.

• Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

• Only serve alcohol to guests over 21 years of age.

• Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:

• Designate your sober driver before the party begins and leave your car keys at home if you plan to drink.

• 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.

• Take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

• Always buckle up — it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.