Serving Up Safe Driving Tips for Super Bowl Sunday

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety and allied organizations are urging football fans to choose a sober designated driver in advance if they plan to drink alcohol while watching Sunday’s game.

More than 175,000 NFL fans pledged to be designated drivers this season, which is a new record, according to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), which is one of several organizations spreading the sobriety message during Super Bowl week.

Among them is the TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) Coalition, which brings together NHTSA, pro and college sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, distillers, and broadcasters to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities.

NETS advises designating a sober driver who will safely transport friends and family who have been drinking to their homes. Designated drivers should be well rested "and prepared to drive any distance that is required to get their impaired passengers home safely," it says in an email offering tips for Super Bowl party hosts and for people attending such parties.

For hosts:

  • Make sure all guests designate their sober drivers before kickoff or help to arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
  • Find unique ways to reward the designated drivers at your party by giving them a great spot to watch the game, ensuring that, whatever non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, their glasses are always full. Let them have the first pass at the buffet table and ensure their cars are easy to access when it's time to start driving people home.
  • Serve plenty of food.
  • Offer a variety of non-alcoholic choices, such as soft drinks, juice, and water.
  • Serve one drink at a time and serve measured drinks.
  • Serve alcohol only to guests over 21 years of age.
  • Determine ahead of time when you'll stop serving alcohol, such as one hour before the end of the party or at the end of the third quarter of the game, and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Add the numbers of local cab companies into your phone so they are just one touch away.
  • Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.

For those attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a bar or restaurant:

  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and leave your car keys at home if you plan to drink.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself: Eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Find unique ways to recognize the designated drivers when you are out at a bar or restaurant by offering to be the designated driver the next time you go out, covering the cost for parking or even paying for a tank of gas, and, whatever non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, making sure their glasses are always full. Pick up the tab for their food and drink.
  • Before you go out, add the numbers for local cab companies into your cell phone.
  • Always buckle up -– it's your best defense on the road.

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