Know When to Pass: Super Bowl Weekend Safety

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – As one of America’s most anticipated and celebrated sporting events, the Super Bowl brings together families, friends, and fans each year to enjoy the excitement of the big game. In many instances, fans will gather to watch the game at sports bars, restaurants, or Super Bowl-themed parties.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Watch UR BAC program along with its DWI Advisory Group and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have joined forces to spread an important safety message to the public about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday – Know When to Pass: Pass up that drink, or pass off those keys.

“Before choosing to drink, choose a sober designated driver. Avoid the unsportsmanlike conduct of driving drunk by handing off your keys so that you, your passengers, and everyone on our roads can safely arrive home,” said Sgt. Jason Summers of the College Station Police Department.

“Drunk driving is always preventable, and driving drunk could result in seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else. Motorists can expect Brazos County law enforcement agencies to have a visible presence and to stop anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive.”

According to the Texas Department of Transportation,
• 45 percent of those who drink at a football watching party in Texas have reported driving home.
35.6 percent of the total traffic fatalities were caused by drivers under
the influence of alcohol in 2010. These figures increase over the
weekend and on football game days.
• In 2010, there were 25,045 (alcohol) related crashes in Texas and
1,392 of those occurred on football game days when a Texas team
was playing.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Watch UR BAC program and the DWI Advisory Group advise that if you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:

• Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food; take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
• Designate your sober driver before the party begins. 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; or if possible, stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
• 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:
• 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.
• Host your party just like they do at the stadium. Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert.
• Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
• 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.
• Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to, or host a party where alcohol is available to, those under age 21 could face jail time.