A day that fans prepare for all season long is upon us………..Super Bowl 2014.  No matter which team you support, you can always “win” by designating a sober driver before the party begins.  Some may visit a favorite establishment, and some may attend a party to watch the big game; but many will involve alcohol in the celebration.  Believing in the talents of your favorite team in admirable; but believing in responsibility and designating a sober driver can and does save lives.

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),  along with the National Football League (NFL) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition have joined forces with traffic safety advocates nationwide to promote the message that “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk”.  In Pickaway County, local law enforcement will be out to make sure drivers remember this safety message.  The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office will extend their efforts through their High Visibility Enforcement Overtime Grant, as well as their participation in “Project S.T.A.R.” to keep all the fans safe on our local roadways.

Safe Communities of Pickaway County Director Teresa C. Carper notes that fans can help by planning ahead.  “Designate a driver, and report anyone you suspect of driving impaired to local law enforcement”, she suggests.  “Part of the fun of this event is talking about all the action on the field, and the commercials, with friends and co-workers later.  So be there for that part of the fun by getting home safe after the game.”

One suggestion for those who host a party is to have special non-alcoholic drinks or special snacks for those who offer to be a designated driver.  Planning ahead can prevent the sad statistics from 2011.  According to NHTSA, 9,878 people died in alcohol related crashes that year;  remember that your odds of being involved in a crash increase dramatically when driving impaired.  Holidays and special events, like the Super Bowl, often increase the number of impaired drivers on our roadways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety has plenty of safety information on their website at www.nhtsa.gov.   Cheer on your favorite team and celebrate safety during Super Bowl XLVIII.

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