Sheriff Offers Advice for Drinkers on Super Bowl Day - Southern Maryland Headline News

Sheriff Offers Advice for Drinkers on Super Bowl Day

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest and most entertaining sporting events and as families and friends gather to socialize and watch the big game, the Charles County Sheriff's Office is reminding citizens, "Fans don't let fans drive drunk."

Sheriff Frederick E. Davis is pleased to announce the Sheriff's Office is joining forces with the National Football League (NFL), the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition (TEAM), Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving (RADD) and other state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials to remind everyone to act responsibly by designating a sober driver if they plan to consume alcohol during Super Bowl Weekend.

"If you plan on using alcohol while cheering your team on to victory, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the Super Bowl party begins," said Sheriff Davis. "Follow the rules or law enforcement will penalize you for driving impaired. We want everyone to make the right play for the big game."

This effort is part of the NFL-TEAM-RADD's season-long "Responsibility Has Its Rewards" national designated driver program. During the 2004 season, more than 80,000 football fans pledged to be sober designated drivers. For 2005, TEAM projects more than 100,000 fans will have pledged to make the winning play.

Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the most dangerous days on the nation's roadways because of impaired driving, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to NHTSA, 158 people died, representing 51 percent of all traffic fatalities during the 2004 Super Bowl weekend, due to impaired drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08 percent and higher.

Designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone's Super Bowl Party list, says the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office also offers these tips:

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 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 and 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 quickly. Pace yourself - eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.

* Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that parson your car keys.

* If you don't have a designated driver ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, friend or other family member to come get you or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.

* 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 impaired drivers.

The Super Bowl effort is part of the NFL-TEAM-RADD's season-long "Responsibility Has Its Rewards" designated driver program at every NFL stadium nationwide, including the Washington Redskins' stadium. Fans who pledged to be designated drivers at NFL games were eligible to enter a drawing to be selected as the team's designated driver for the season. The selected designated drivers for each of the two teams that compete in the Super Bowl will receive two tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the big game.

Additionally, one designated driver from an NFL team that does not play in the Super Bowl will be chosen at random to attend the 2006 NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The TEAM Coalition - an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaries, the beer industry, broadcasters, traffic safety experts and others including RADD - works to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at all sports and entertainment facilities.

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