Media Release – Feb. 5, 2021
RICHMOND – In a year where celebrations have been hard to come by, the Super Bowl is a welcomed distraction for many in Virginia. But don’t let celebrating the game with your “COVID-19 bubble” foul your life. Whether a Chiefs or Buccaneers fan, a guaranteed game-day loser is anyone who chooses to drive drunk on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 7). The Virginia State Police is reminding all Virginians that if your game plan includes drinking, then add a designated driver to your lineup. And if you’re looking to win the MVP title, be a team player and volunteer to be the designated driver for your friends.
“Impaired drivers endanger lives on our highways. It’s that simple,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “If someone makes the choice to drive impaired, then they also run the very likely risk of getting arrested for DUI. On Sunday, Virginia troopers will be stepping up patrols during and following the Super Bowl in order to deter, detect and arrest drunk drivers. No game or drink is worth losing a life over, so please be responsible and remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.”
On Super Bowl Sunday 2020, there were 27 alcohol-related crashes that resulted in 15 injuries across the Commonwealth.* If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates and lost wages. Virginians are also reminded that there is a chance for winter weather to impact many parts of the state on Sunday. Virginia State Police urges anyone planning to travel Sunday to keep up-to-date on the weather in their area and safely plan their travels accordingly. Check road conditions at www.511virginia.org.
In addition to being responsible on the roads, Virginia State Police reminds all Virginians to be COVID safe during your Super Bowl celebrations, as well. Wear a mask when around those not within your household and remember, in accordance with Executive Order 72, gatherings of more than 10 people who do not live in the same household are not allowed. Virginians are also reminded of the Governor’s modified Stay at Home Order that requires everyone “to remain at their place of residence” from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. For tips on how to safely host a small gathering or party, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 webpage.
If attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a restaurant:
- Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay in for the night.
- Use your community’s sober ride program, reserve a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, or take public transportation.
- Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.
- Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against drunk drivers.
- Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose whenever you are not eating or drinking.
If hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
- Serve lots of food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.
- Limit the number of those invited to 10 or less from outside of your immediate household.
- Require guests to wear masks.
- Have plenty of hand sanitizer and hand soap. Disinfect surfaces and serving utensils frequently.
*Virginia Traffic Crash Facts, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office
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