SPRINGFIELD – Millions of people will gather this Sunday to watch the Super Bowl. Many will celebrate with alcohol. As part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and police and sheriff’s departments throughout Illinois strongly urge fans to come up with a game plan now: drinking or driving, but not both.
“Drunk driving is preventable. If you plan on drinking this Super Bowl Sunday, make sure you have a sober ride home lined up before the game,” said Jared Thornley, IDOT’s Director of Traffic Safety. “Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs can result in a costly DUI arrest, loss of driving privileges or even jail time. Most tragically, it could result in injury or death for you or others on the road.”
“DUIs are responsible for nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in Illinois. A single DUI can cost thousands of dollars, suspension of driving privileges, potential jail time, or worse, cause the death of another motorist,” said ISP Colonel Tad Williams. “Plan ahead to arrive home safe this Super Bowl weekend by designating a driver or catching a cab. Everyone wins when we all make it home safe.”
If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:
• Designate your sober driver before the party begins.
• Keep track of how much you have had to drink.
• Make sure your ride is sober before getting in the vehicle.
• If you don’t have a designated driver, call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you. If possible, stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
• Use your community’s sober ride program, if available.
• Never let friends drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
• Always buckle up and drive defensively – it’s your best defense against a drunk driver.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:
• Make sure your guests designate sober drivers in advance. Or arrange rides for them.
• Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
• Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game, just like at the stadium.
• Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
• You can be prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash. If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or provider may be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
According to the most recent estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,967 people were killed in the United States in drunk driving crashes in 2014. These deaths accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities. In Illinois in 2014, estimates show 317 people were killed in crashes involving at least one drunk driver, or 34 percent of all those who died in crashes that year.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is made possible by federal highway safety funding, administered by IDOT and supported by hundreds of Illinois law enforcement agencies.