Fairfax County Police will be out in full force this weekend with DWI patrols. Don’t throw your game off (or someone else’s) by driving while intoxicated or impaired. The Super Bowl is America’s most popular sporting event. Game day parties can be epic events with football, great food, lots of friends, and typically, alcohol. Unfortunately, adding alcoholic beverages in the mix makes this weekend historically dangerous.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2012, 43 percent of all traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday were caused by drunk driving. In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States, which accounted for 31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation.
According to BACtrack, a company that makes smart phone enabled breathalyzers that monitor Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), in 2014 its users recorded an average BAC of .091 percent on Super Bowl Sunday. Most of you are aware the legal BAC limit in Virginia is .08 percent.
What’s your game plan this weekend? Are you drinking OR are you driving? Doing both is simply not an option. Driving while intoxicated is illegal, dangerous and costly but easily preventable. Some basic planning can keep you and other drivers safe this weekend, or any weekend. If you plan to drink, plan not to drive:
- Designate a sober driver.
- Arrange for a taxi.
- Plan to stay overnight at a friend’s home.
If you are hosting a party, here are some helpful tips:
- Offer non-alcoholic drinks in addition to beer.
- Serve plenty of food. A full stomach can slow the rate of alcohol absorption.
- Stop serving alcohol an hour or two before the party ends.
- Arrange alternate transportation for your intoxicated guests.
- Never serve minors alcohol.
Protect yourself from drunk drivers on the road by knowing how to spot one. An impaired driver may:
- Weave, swerve or straddle the center line.
- Drive on the wrong side of the road.
- Drive at a very slow speed.
- Stop or brake for no reason.
- Have an extremely slow response to traffic conditions or signals.
- Drive without headlights at night.
Being aware of these behaviors can help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation. If you see what you believe to be a drunk driver, maintain a safe distance and call the police. Do not attempt to stop the vehicle yourself or violate any traffic laws trying to follow it. With your help and a little extra awareness, everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time on game day.
Check out these resources for more information: