Special to the Journal
ATLANTA – As the Seahawks and Broncos battle it out in New Jersey for one of America’s most highly anticipated sports events, friends and family will gather in homes, bars and restaurants to celebrate the Super Bowl. As football fans congregate for the big game, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and law enforcement officials across the state are joining forces to remind Georgia drivers to designate a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday.
“Even though we’ve seen the overall number of fatalities on our roadways decrease, we’re seeing an upward trend in the number of alcohol-related crashes,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “The Super Bowl is a great opportunity to celebrate the big game with friends and loved ones, but finding a sober ride home after that celebration should be the first step in planning your Sunday celebration.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,878 people were killed nationwide in alcohol-related crashes in 2011, and these crashes were 31 percent more likely to occur on weekends than weekdays. In 2012, an estimated 264 out of 1,199 total crash fatalities in Georgia were alcohol-related.
Whether attending the game, watching at a bar or hosting a party, GOHS reminds everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Before you drink, make sure you have a designated sober driver or make other arrangements to get a safe ride home.
“One of the best resources we can offer is our Drive Sober, Georgia app,” Blackwood said. “If you download our app, you’ll find a list of cab companies and other services in your area that can get you home safely.”
NHTSA offers these additional safety tips for Super Bowl Sunday:
If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a bar or restaurant:
- Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or stay for the night.
- Use the Drive Sober, Georgia app
- Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely.
- Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.
And remember, your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver in a crash.