Sheriff calls for responsible Super Bowl celebrations

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Sheriff Bill Gore urged football fans Monday to team up against drunken driving on Super Bowl Sunday.

“We're reminding everyone that real Super Bowl fans don't let (other) fans drive drunk,” Gore said during a late-morning briefing at his department's Kearny Mesa headquarters.

“If your Super Bowl plans include alcohol, make sure you have a designated sober driver,” he said. “We are asking all party hosts and bar owners to take extra-good care of designated sober drivers this year.”

The local message to Super Bowl fans joins with a national “Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign coordinated by the National Football League, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the HERO Campaign and the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition.

The San Diego County Avoid the 14 DUI Task Force will be deploying special patrols in more than 20 communities throughout the region to stop and arrest drivers who are intoxicated. The effort will augment regularly scheduled patrols looking for the tale-tell signs of intoxicated drivers.

Additionally, the task force will be conducting a DUI and driver's- license checkpoint in Encinitas the day before Sunday's big game.

The Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk message supports a league-wide designated-driver campaign called Responsibility Has Its Rewards. Celebrating its eighth season, the program encourages fans to participate in designated- driver programs supported by beer and concessionaire companies at every NFL stadium.

The more than 170,000 fans who pledged to be designated drivers this season now have a chance to earn a trip to Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“We want everyone to make the right decision for Super Bowl,” Gore said. “Having a designated sober driver should be an obvious (choice) to everyone. Making sure designated sober drivers know how much we appreciate their responsible decision is what will make this year's celebration extra special — and extra safe.”

Authorities urge fans hosting a Super Bowl to take the following precautions:
      — make sure all your guests designate their sober drivers before kick-
off, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers;
      — find unique ways to recognize the designated drivers at your party,
such as giving them the best spot to watch the game;
      — make sure their cars are easy to access when it is time to start
driving people home;
      — serve plenty of food;
      — offer a variety of non-alcoholic choices like non-alcohol beers, soft
drinks, juice and water;
      — only serve alcohol to guests who are 21 or older;
      — 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 — like NFL stadiums do — and then begin serving coffee and dessert;
      — add the numbers of local cab companies into your phone so they are
just one touch away;
      — take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired;
      — be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home
is not available.
      Those attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar
or restaurant are encouraged to:
      — designate a sober driver before the party begins and leave car keys
at home if you plan to drink;
      — find unique ways to recognize the designated drivers when out at a
bar or restaurant;
      — before going out, add the numbers for local cab companies in your
cell phone so if you find yourself in need of a ride, it is just one touch
      — avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast — eat enough food, take
breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks; and
      — take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired.

Categories: KUSI