Police: don’t drink and drive

ENON — As Super Bowl LIII approaches, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is teaming up with the Enon Police Department to remind football fans that designated drivers are the best defense against the dangers of drunk driving.

The Super Bowl is a festive night in homes and bars across America, but if the night involves alcohol, plan for a sober ride home. The Enon Police Department is reminding everyone that “fans don’t let fans drive drunk.”

“The Super Bowl should be a night of fun, so we want our community folks to plan safe rides home if they plan to be out at a party,” said Enon Police Chief Lew Wilcox. “Even one drink can impair judgement. You should never put yourself, or others, at risk because you made the choice to drink and drive. For most, even one drink can be one too many.”

Safety should be the top priority. The Enon Police Department emphasized that when it’s time to leave the party, make sure the designated driver is actually sober. If he or she decided to drink, call a cab, use the SaferRide app or call someone else who hasn’t been drinking. Remember that walking impaired can also be dangerous, so designate a sober friend to walk home with if needed. If driving, remember that sober driving isn’t the only law that should be followed: Make sure you — and the driver — wear seat belts.

If individuals plan to be the designated driver, the Enon Police Department said they should refrain from drinking alcohol because people are relying on them. Encourage other designated drivers on social media using the hash tag #designateddriver. Let @NHTSAgov know you are the #DesignatedDriver so the organization can add your name to its “Wall of Fame.” A positive influence by designated drivers could help keep other sober drivers on the right track. If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely.

If you’re hosting this year’s Super Bowl party, prepare plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for guests and designated drivers. Ask guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them coordinate with other partygoers’ designated drivers. Encourage drinking guests to pace themselves, eat food and drink plenty of water. Another important reminder: Do not serve alcohol to minors. If an underage person drinks and drives, the person who provided the alcohol could be held liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver. Individuals who provided the alcohol to those under 21 could face jail time.

Follow these simple tips for a safe evening:

— Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if individuals have had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.

— Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.

— If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact a law enforcement agency promptly.

— Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Even still, thousands die each year in drunk-driving-related crashes. In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing and repairs, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

For more information on the dangers of drunk driving, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.