Tuesday January 27, 2009

Napa County Avoid the 9 announced today that they are joining forces with the National Football League (NFL), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the California Office of Traffic Safety along with other State and local highway safety and law enforcement officials to remind everyone to act responsibly by designating a sober driver if they plan on drinking alcohol on Super Bowl Sunday.

“We want to pass our safety message to everyone who will be drinking this weekend, real Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk,” said Napa Police Chief Rich Melton. “Please call the right play for the big game and pass your keys to a designated driver before the Super Bowl party begins. Getting caught driving while impaired will cost you more than a 15 yard penalty from local law enforcement.   This penalty includes jail, fines and a loss of your driving privileges.” 

Super Bowl Sunday is one of America’s biggest and most entertaining national sporting events as friends and families gather to socialize and watch the big game. Yet, it has also become one of the Nation’s most dangerous days on the roadways due to impaired driving. 

Napa County Avoid the 9 DUI Task Force will be sending local DUI saturation patrols out onto the streets at half time.  All police, sheriff and CHP officers working routine patrols will be paying special attention to traffic looking to stop drinking drivers before they crash.  And finally, Napa County Avoid the 9 is asking that every motorist assist law enforcement and Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1 if they see dangerous driving in front of them. 

In 2007, fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes accounted for 32 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. On Super Bowl Sunday (12:01 a.m. Sunday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), 48 percent of the fatalities occurred in crashes where a driver or motorcycle rider had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher.  Designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone’s Super Bowl party list.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:  

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
  • Remember, you could be held liable if someone you served ends up in an impaired-driving crash.  
If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:

 

  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • 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 just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
  • Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.