As one of America’s most anticipated and celebrated sporting events, Super Bowl Sunday brings together families and friends for the excitement of the season ending big game. In many instances, fans gather to watch the game at sports bars, restaurants, and Super Bowl-themed parties. With that in mind, Roanoke County’s public safety agencies want to remind people about the importance of designating a sober driver with the release of a new social media and public education campaign done in conjunction with Yellow Cab and Oakey’s Funeral Service.
The campaign “Who’s Taking You Home Tonight” is designed to remind people that if they drink on Super Bowl Sunday it is imperative that they make plans in advance for a designated driver or cab ride home or run the risk of ending up in handcuffs, the back of an ambulance, or hearse.
“Avoid the unsportsmanlike conduct of driving drunk by handing off your keys so that you and everyone else on the road can make it home safely,” explained Sgt. Tim Wyatt of the Roanoke County Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement and Education Unit. “There is no excuse for drunk driving. Motorists can expect high visibility patrols in Roanoke County on Super Bowl Sunday and we will not be giving out warnings. If you’re caught driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested.”
According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 8,411 crashes in Virginia involving an impaired driver in 2011. Sadly, 216 of these crashes were fatal while another 3,873 involved injury. In Roanoke County, there were 84 drunk-driving crashes in 2011 resulting in four deaths and 51 injuries.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if attending a Super Bowl party:
- Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- If you’re consuming alcohol, pace yourself, eat plenty of food, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober driver to take you home or call a cab.
- Fans don’t let fans drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for a fellow fan to get home.
- If you’re sober and driving, always buckle up as that is the best protection against drunk drivers.
Information from the Roanoke County Website