TENNESSEE – The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) is partnering with the Tennessee Titans to remind Tennesseans that "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk." "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith joined the THSO for a public service announcement.
"We encourage football fans to enjoy the game this weekend," said Keith. "Remember, it's never safe to drink and drive. Always find a sober ride home. It's the right thing to do."
During Super Bowl weekend last year, there were 59 drunk-driving crashes in Tennessee, according to Tennessee's Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN). In 2019, there were 55.
"If your Super Bowl celebration involves alcohol, plan for a sober ride home," said THSO Director Buddy Lewis. "If you drink and drive, you can lose your license, your freedom, your life, or the life of someone else. Don't take the risk. Never drink and drive."
Whether you're throwing a Super Bowl party or just attending one, now is the time to strategize the most important part of your game plan for the big game: a shutdown defense that prevents drunk driving.
Here are a few tips to help you plan for a safe Super Bowl weekend.
Never Drive Drunk
Whether you're attending a socially distanced gathering, hosting one, or going out to the 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, call a sober ride. 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.
Bonus Points for the Designated Drivers
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. Encourage other designated drivers on social media by 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 away the keys and help them get home safely.
Host Pointers for the Win
If you're hosting a small gathering for this year's Super Bowl, prepare plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for your guests and the designated drivers. Don't forget to include the hand sanitizer and some disposable masks! 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 could face jail time if you host a gathering where alcohol is served to people under the age of 21.
This year's Super Bowl is drastically different from previous years. For those staying home, consider hosting or attending a virtual Super Bowl watch party. Bonus: No need to worry about drinking and driving!
In many communities, alcohol transport is also different. If your community now allows alcoholic drinks for carryout, make sure to transport alcohol in a leak-proof container, leaving stickers and seals in place. No straws should be placed in the containers. Remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving. Ensure you follow Tennessee's open container laws.
For more safe driving tips, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) is a division of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security advocating for traffic safety. The THSO works in tandem with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement statewide programs addressing occupant protection, impaired driving, speed enforcement, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and crash data collection and analysis. Programs administered by the THSO are 100 percent federally funded. The THSO's mission is to effectively develop, implement, and evaluate these programs. To learn more, please visitwww.tntrafficsafety.org.