State officials encourage safe celebrating for Super Bowl Sunday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Department of Transportation, Governor's Highway Safety Office, and Department of Safety and Homeland Security have teamed up to remind Tennesseans that Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk during Super Bowl weekend.

“We want you to have a good time, but more importantly, we want you to be safe,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “The chances of you, or someone you love, being in a drunk driving crash increases over the weekend and even more over a holiday weekend. Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them and it always happens to somebody. Don’t be that somebody.”

The Governor's Highway Safety Office encourages Tennesseans to tweet their sober ride plans for the weekend out using the hashtag #TNSoberSB50. Participants will be eligible to win safe driving items and a football signed by Titan Delanie Walker.

“The contest is something new we are doing this year,” said GHSO Public Information Officer Amanda Brown. “It’s one thing for our office to remind you to designate a sober driver; it’s another thing for you to hear about your friends’ safe ride plans. We want to encourage that peer-to-peer conversation.”

State officials also have the following tips for those hosting Super Bowl parties:

Ask all guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers. Someone who doesn't drink can offer to drive guests home.
Encourage drinking guests to pace themselves.
Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter—this is a good time to serve coffee and dessert.
Sign up online for a ride sharing service and keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from any guests who are thinking of driving after drinking.
Remember, if a host serves a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash that night, the host could be held liable.
If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or guardian can be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to – or host a party where alcohol is available to – those under age 21, could face jail time.

“This Super Bowl will be one of the most celebrated in recent years as our very own Peyton Manning takes the field,” TDOSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “One of the top priorities of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is to ensure Tennesseans are safe and secure on our roadways. Super Bowl Sunday is no exception. We value our partnership with TDOT and the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. These partnerships are essential to our overall success of traffic safety education and enforcement.”

Six people died in traffic crashes during Super Bowl weekend last night. Five of those crashes were alcohol related.

“When planning your Super Bowl festivities it is important to plan a safe ride home,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott. “A sober ride home should be a part of everyone’s game plan. THP reminds you to make safe choices when driving Tennessee roadways.”

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