Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Titans and Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security are once again teaming up to remind Tennessee football fans that real Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk this Super Bowl weekend.
“If your Super Bowl game plan includes celebrating with alcohol make sure you have a sober, designated driver,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Law enforcement officials will be working overtime to ensure that Tennessee’s roads are safe, so if you drink and drive this weekend, chances are you’ll be caught.”
Nearly 7,500 Titans fans promised to be the designated driver for friends and family during the 2011 season, making the Titans one of the top teams in the AFC South for designated driver pledges. Today, the Titans, TDOT’s GHSO and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security honored some of those designated drivers with an exclusive tour of LP Field.
“In addition to supporting the Titans this past football season, these fans made a very important commitment – one that saves lives,” said GHSO Director Kendell Poole. “By pledging to be a designated driver, they made sure their friends and family had a safe ride home from LP Field and did their part to keep Tennessee roads free of impaired drivers.”
This season, Titans fans joined more than 220,000 NFL fans in the Designated Driver program, which is a collaboration among all 32 NFL teams, 31 stadiums, concessionaires, beer distributors and brewers, broadcasters, law enforcement agencies, and traffic safety experts.
“We’re proud of our fans’ dedication to responsible behavior this season and we want all football fans to follow their leadership this weekend,” added Don MacLachlan, Titans Executive Vice President of Administration and Facilities. “Handing your keys to a sober driver or taking a cab will always make you a winner.”
“This Super Bowl Sunday, we want to see zero alcohol-related fatalities in Tennessee,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “Between the sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols, and concerned citizens, if you choose to drive impaired this weekend, we plan to catch you.”
According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, troopers arrested 45 people for driving under the influence during the 2011 Super Bowl weekend. Between Friday, February 4, 2011 and Sunday, February 6 at 11:59 p.m. there were 5 people killed on Tennessee roadways. Two of those deaths occurred in alcohol related crashes.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott reminded football fans that drinking and driving is not worth the risk. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, the cost of a DUI conviction is significant. Violators face jail time, loss of their driver license, higher insurance rates, hefty legal fees, and many other expenses.”
“We want everyone to make the right call for the Super Bowl by passing their keys to a sober driver,” added Poole. “If you’re hosting a party, make sure your celebration doesn’t end in tragedy. Designate a sober driver and have phone numbers for local taxi services on hand for those who’ve had too much to drink.”
The THP will participate in a multi-jurisdictional DUI Blitz with several law enforcement agencies from 2 p.m. through 2 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. The collaborative effort will involve saturation patrols, extensive bar checks and a pre-arranged sobriety checkpoint. A listing of THP sobriety and driver’s license checkpoints is attached to this release and can be found at www.tn.gov/safety/newsroom.htm.