CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Super Bowl LIV is right around the corner. This year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is teaming up with the Cedar Rapids Police Department to remind football fans and Super Bowl partygoers that designated drivers are the best defense against the dangers of drunk driving. Super Bowl LIV falls on Sunday, February 2, 2020. If your Super Bowl celebration involves alcohol, plan for a ride home with a sober driver. If you’re hosting the party, take care of the designated drivers. We want to remind everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
“Everyone wants to have a good time on Super Bowl night, so we want our community folks to plan safe rides home if they plan to be out at a party,” said Sergeant Graham Campshure, Cedar Rapids Police Department Traffic Division, “Even one drink can impair judgement. You should never put yourself, or others, at risk because you made the choice to drink and drive. Even one drink can be one too many.”
Whether you’re attending a party, hosting a party, or going out to a bar, keep safety at the forefront of your night. When it’s time to leave, make sure your designated driver is actually sober. If he or she decided to drink, you should call a cab, or call someone else who you know hasn’t been drinking to get you home safely. Remember that walking impaired can also be dangerous, so designate a sober friend to walk home with you. If you are driving, remember that sober driving isn’t the only law that should be followed: Make sure you — and your driver — wear your seat belts.
If you’re planning to be a designated driver, know that you’re the night’s MVP. No matter what, do not drink any alcohol — people are relying on you. While at the party, enjoy the food, the company, and the non-alcoholic drinks. Encourage other designated drivers on social media using the hashtag #DesignatedDriver. Your positive influence could help keep other designated drivers on the right track. 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.
If you’re hosting this year’s Super Bowl party, prepare plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for your guests and the designated drivers. Get creative and try out some Super Bowl-themed snacks and beverages. Support your designated drivers by tweeting their names to @NHTSAgov to add their name to the Wall of Fame, and use the hashtag #DesignatedDriver. They are doing everyone a favor by keeping drunk drivers off the roads. Ask your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them coordinate with other partygoers’ designated drivers. Remind your drinking guests that they have a long evening ahead of them, and encourage them to pace themselves, to eat food, and to drink plenty of water. Another important reminder: Do not serve alcohol to minors. If an underage person drinks and drives, the person who provided the alcohol can be held liable for any damage, injury, or death caused by the underage driver. In fact, you can face jail time if you host a party where alcohol is served to people under the age of 21.
Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem, for men and for women alike. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. Remember: Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It’s that simple.
If you’re heading out for a night of Super Bowl fun, make a game plan and follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
- Remember that it is never okay to drive drunk. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely if you plan to drink.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Police Department.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Remember: If you drive drunk, you may lose money, your reputation, your car, and even your life. Everyone should know by now that it is illegal to drive impaired. Even still, thousands die each year in drunk-driving-related crashes. In 2018, there were 10,511 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.
For more information on the dangers of drunk driving, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunk-driving/super-bowl.