NDDOT Reminds Fans to Drive Sober on Super Bowl Sunday
For Immediate Release: Jan 23 2018
BISMARCK, N.D. – As Super Bowl Sunday approaches in our neighboring Minnesota, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) reminds motorists to always drive sober, designate a sober driver, or don’t get behind the wheel. Nationally, historic data has shown that alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and driving under the influence increase in the hours following the Super Bowl, so it is critical to plan ahead and make arrangements for a sober ride home. Whether fans are traveling to or from the game, a private party or an establishment, there is no excuse to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“It is the NDDOT’s vision that there are zero injuries or fatalities on North Dakota roads as a result of impaired driving,” said Karin Mongeon, NDDOT Safety Division Director. “While the Super Bowl is a fun and celebratory event each year, we urge all motorists to take personal responsibility for their actions and always choose to drive sober. No one wants the party to end with an injury or fatality.”
A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and reaction times enough to make driving unsafe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in 2016 there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers. Among the 10,497 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, 67 percent (7,052) were in crashes in which at least one driver had a BAC of .15, almost twice the legal limit.
The NDDOT’s efforts are in conjunction with NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign. This campaign urges all football fans to call the right play on Super Bowl weekend by passing the keys to a sober driver before the drinking begins.
To help fans prep for the big game, the following tips can help fans to have fun while keeping safe.
Top 5 Tips If You Plan to Drink:
1. Make sure your designated driver is actually sober. If he or she decided to drink unexpectedly, don’t worry about insulting them. Call a cab or ride service, or call someone else who you know hasn’t been drinking.
2. Download and use NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app. The app helps people connect with a safe ride home by calling a taxi or a friend and by identifying the app user’s location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
3. Use AAA’s free Tow to Go services by calling (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246. This is available to members and non-members in North Dakota. The AAA tow truck transports the vehicle and driver home or somewhere safe within 10 miles.
4. When you ride home with your sober driver, make sure you—and your driver—wear a seat belt. It’s your best defense in a crash.
5. Remember, walking impaired can also be dangerous. Designate a sober friend to walk home with you.
6. If you find yourself unable to get home safely, ask the host if you can stay for the night.
Top 5 Tips If You Plan to Drive:
1. Don’t drink or use drugs. Be a designated sober driver and help save lives.
2. Always wear your seat belt and require your passengers to do the same. Don’t start the vehicle until everyone buckles up.
3. 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.
4. Don't assume that not being able to have alcohol means not being able to have delicious drinks. Try non-alcoholic versions of those favorite drinks, smoothies or shakes.
5. Find a friend who doesn't drink. Perhaps this friend is also a designated driver for the same occasion. This can be a great person to team up with for the evening.
Top 5 Tips If You’re Hosting the Party:
1. Ask your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them coordinate with other guests’ designated drivers.
2. Encourage your drinking guests to pace themselves, eat food, and drink plenty of water.
3. Serve a selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
4. Do not serve alcohol to minors. If an underage person drinks and drives, the person who served 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 party where alcohol is served to people under the age of 21.
5. If you don’t drink, offer to drive guests home, or invite them to stay the night.
This Super Bowl weekend, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Remember: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at ndcodefortheroad.org or join the conversation on the Code for the Road Facebook or Twitter page. Memorials to North Dakota crash fatalities can be seen at ndcodefortheroad.org/memorial.