Thursday, February 22, 2024

DMV, Virginia State Police Remind Drivers to Make a Game Night Game Plan

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

RICHMOND — With the big game right around the corner, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Virginia State Police are urging drivers to have a game plan to ensure a safe and sober ride home.

“You often hear people say ‘the best defense is a good offense’ and when it comes to preventing drunk driving that is so true,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Gerald Lackey, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “If you choose to go out and celebrate with alcohol, please make sure you have a plan before you go out, to get home safely. And never drink and drive. We want to make sure that when the game is over everyone makes it home safely.”

On Super Bowl Sunday 2023, the DMV notes in Virginia there were 28 crashes involving alcohol and two fatalities, and for the past three years, at least one life was lost in an alcohol-related crash the night of the Super Bowl. Twenty-three drivers were charged with driving while intoxicated on Super Bowl Sunday by Virginia State Police (VSP) Troopers last year.  

State and local law enforcement will be out Super Bowl Sunday, and VSP Troopers will be increasing visibility on the roads around game time to ensure people can watch and get home safely, according to the DMV.  

“We understand people want to celebrate the game with family and friends, and that those celebrations may include alcohol,” said Col. Gary Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police. “We want Virginians to choose to find a safe way home if one’s Super Bowl party includes alcohol. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs puts yourself and others at risk. Avoid this by having a plan in advance that involves a sober driver or alternative transportation.” 

Those caught drinking and driving risk jail time, losing their driver’s license and vehicle, and paying up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates and lost wages.

DMV and VSP offer the following tips to consider when making a game night game plan:

  • Designate a driver — Talk with your friends and find a designated driver. If you are the designated driver, take that responsibility seriously.
  • Call a car — Before you go out, make sure you have the number for a taxi service in your phone or download a ride-booking app like Uber or Lyft.
  • Buckle up — Just because you made the responsible choice to not drink and drive sadly does not mean others will do the same. Always buckle your seat belt; it is your best defense in a crash. 
  • Host responsibly — If you are hosting, make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverage options and food for guests. If you see someone preparing to drive who you know has been drinking, speak up and help them find a safe ride. 

For more information on how to prevent drunk driving visit DMV’s website.

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