newsstate police remind virginians to add designated driver to super bowl party lineup

State Police remind Virginians to add designated driver to Super Bowl party lineup

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Whether you are rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs or the Philadelphia Eagles, the Virginia State Police is reminding Virginians to make sure your game plan for Super Bowl Sunday includes a designated driver.

In partnership with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, Virginia troopers will be stepping up patrols during and following the Super Bowl to deter, detect and arrest drunk drivers.

“If you are cheering on your favorite team or just watching it for the commercials, Super Bowl Sunday is always a great time to hang out with friends,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “It’s making the choice to drive home impaired that is the wrong way to celebrate. If someone makes the choice to drive impaired, then they also run the very likely risk of getting arrested for DUI.

“Getting behind the wheel when intoxicated is a choice – a choice with deadly consequences for you, your passengers and every other motorist sharing the road with you.”

Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, there were 36 alcohol-related crashes that resulted in 15 injuries and two deaths across the Commonwealth.

Consequences if you are caught drinking and driving include jail time, losing your driver’s license and your vehicle, and paying up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates and lost wages.

“Be a part of a great defense. Volunteer as the designated driver for your friends,” said Settle. “Teamwork and safety are a winning combination.”

If attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a 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 just stay in for the night.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program, reserve a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, or take public transportation.
  • Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against drunk drivers.

If hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance or help arrange alternate transportation.
  • Serve lots of 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.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.