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News Story
Updated: 01/23/2014 03:18:01PM

Fans don’t let fans drive drunk

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Provided by PUNTA GORDA POLICE DEPARTMENT

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The Super Bowl is one of America’s most highly anticipated sports events, when friends and family gather in homes, bars, and restaurants to celebrate. As Super Bowl Sunday approaches and football fans across the country prepare for the game, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the National Football League and Techniques for the Effective Alcohol Management Coalition, have joined forces with Punta Gorda’s local highway safety and law enforcement officials to spread the message about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, because Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

“All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to impaired driving. Because we’re committed to ending this, we’ve teamed up to offer our residents and visitors alike, some tips to keep you safe this Superbowl Sunday,” said Chief Albert A. Arenal. According to NHTSA, in 2011 a total of 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. These crashes were 31 percent more likely to occur on weekends than on weekdays. Whether attending the game, watching at a bar or hosting a party, NHTSA, Team Coalition, the NFL and the Punta Gorda Police Department remind everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Before choosing to drink, choose your team’s MVP — a sober designated driver. NHTSA offers these additional safety tips: If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant: Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins. If you don’t have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay for the night. Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink. If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party: Make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely. Serve food and include nonalcoholic 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 away from anyone who has had too much to drink. And remember, your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver in a crash.

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