We’ve passed the holiday season that lands many Marylanders under arrest for drunk driving. Now comes the event that’s a holiday in its own right for millions of Americans, the Super Bowl. With two eastern teams playing on February 4th, many people will be watching the Patriots and Eagles go at it while drinking in homes, dorm rooms, bars and restaurants throughout Maryland.
Police will be out in force looking for drunk drivers on Super Bowl Sunday. However, law enforcement and safety officials would prefer that people heed the advice they’re giving to avoid a DUI or worse, a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other organizations have joined forces for a “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign to help people protect themselves and others.
The key is planning. Whether you’re hosting a party, attending one or gathering with friends at a local watering hole, you should have a plan in place. The safest plan you can make is not to drive.
Ubers and Lyfts will be available virtually everywhere. If you don’t have one of these apps on your phone, install it and set up your payment preferences before the big day. Share the ride with your friends, and even with surge pricing due to high demand, it won’t be so bad. Whatever you pay, it will be far less than the cost of a DUI.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also has a SaferRide app that helps users find a ride. Of course, depending on where you live, public transportation may be the best and least expensive choice. There are still good old-fashioned taxis around, too.
If you’re going to be with someone who doesn’t drink or has promised to be a designated driver, that’s fine. However, designated drivers have been known to change their minds mid-party. Have a plan to get yourself (and your not-so-sober designated driver) home safely. Take their keys before it’s too late.
Look out for others as well. Whether they’re guest in your home or part of the gang you’ve gathered to watch the game with, don’t let someone drive home if they’re under the influence.
If you do find yourself facing DUI charges, take them seriously. The courts won’t go easy on you because it was Super Bowl Sunday. Seek experienced legal guidance.
Source: York News-Times, “Fans don’t let fans drive drunk,” Jan. 20, 2018