NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Transportation Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Titans and Tennessee Department of Safety are once again teaming up to remind Tennessee football fans that real Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk this Super Bowl weekend.
“When it comes to preventing drunk driving, we’re all part of the team,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Designating a sober driver this weekend is the best way to ensure everyone has a safe Super Bowl experience.”
Thousands of Titans fans stepped up this season to keep roadways safe. More than 6,000 Titans fans promised to be the designated driver for friends and family during the 2009 season, making the Titans the top team in the AFC South for designated driver pledges. Today, the Titans, TDOT’s GHSO and the Department of Safety 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.”
Titans fans joined more than 150,000 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.”
“The careless actions of a drunk driver can turn a Super Bowl celebration into a tragedy,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “When Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk, all Tennesseans come out winners.”
According to the Department of Safety, Troopers arrested 46 people for driving under the influence during the 2009 Super Bowl weekend. Between Friday, January 30, 2009 and Sunday, February 1 at 11:59 p.m. there were 6 people killed on Tennessee roadways. Two of those deaths occurred in alcohol related crashes. That’s down significantly from 2008 when there were 14 fatal crashes during the Super Bowl weekend.
“Our game plan is to take as many impaired drivers off the road before they take a life on our roadways,” added THP Colonel Mike Walker. “Troopers will be out in force to make sure everyone has a safe Super Bowl weekend.”
“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.”
For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org or www.TeamCoalition.org.
Super Bowl Keys to the Game:
If you are hosting a Super Bowl Party:
Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol ends up in an impaired driving crash.
Make sure all of your guests designate sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
Serve food and include a variety of 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 from anyone who considers driving while impaired.
If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:
Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself – eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to pick you up; 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 in a crash.
NFL’s Season-Long Commitment to Community & Traffic Safety
The Super Bowl sober driving effort is part of the NFL-TEAM-RADD’s season-long Responsibility Has Its Rewards designated driver program at every NFL stadium nationwide, including the Tennessee Titans. Fans who pledged to be designated drivers at NFL games were eligible to enter a drawing to be selected as the team’s designated driver for the season. The designated drivers selected from the teams that are competing in the Super Bowl received two tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the big game. In addition, one designated driver from an NFL team that is not playing in the Super Bowl was randomly chosen to attend the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.