Don't Let Alcohol Force You Out of the Game

January 5, 2012 - Traffic Safety - Be sure to include a designated driver in your starting lineup this weekend.

Denver, CO—The Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol would like to congratulate the Denver Broncos for representing Colorado in the 2011 NFL Playoffs.  “While I encourage everyone to have fun cheering the Broncos on to victory, I implore you to do so in a safe and responsible way,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.  This is why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming with the National Football League (NFL) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition to help endorse the very important safety message of not drinking and driving to all NFL fans.

“If you are preparing to consume alcohol while you watch our beloved Broncos play, we suggest that you do it sensibly, by handing over your keys to a designated driver,” said Col. Wolfinbarger.  "Just like the Denver Broncos will try to execute their game plan to win the game, anyone drinking during the games should carry out a designated driver plan to make sure they get home safely.  Drafting a designated driver this weekend will be the correct play call for a sure win.”

Recently, more than 1,677 Coloradans were arrested for a DUI over the holiday season. Preliminary reports show there were 45 fatalities on Colorado roadways during the holiday season; 15 of those were alcohol-related. In 2010, over 10,000 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher (.08 grams per deciliter or higher). The next ‘Heat is On’ DUI enforcement period will be Super Bowl weekend from Friday, Feb. 3 through Monday, Feb. 6.

We are also asking all party hosts to use a prevent defense to discourage their guests from drinking and driving. And make that extra effort to be sure everyone who will be drinking has assigned a sober designated driver. “Designated drivers are the real play makers for the team, because they make sure that their teammates get home safely,” said Don Hunt, executive director at CDOT. “We want everyone to make the right decision for this weekend and remember real NFL Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

The Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk message supports the league-wide designated-driver campaign called Responsibility Has Its Rewards. Celebrating its ninth season in 2011, the campaign encourages fans to participate in designated-driver programs supported by beer and concessionaire companies at every NFL stadium nationwide. Throughout the season, more than 175,000 fans made the responsible decision to be designated drivers. 9,657 Broncos fans have taken the designated driver pledge at Sports Authority Field at Mile High this season, nearly doubling last year’s record of 5,975. Because of its great success this year, the designated driver program will continue through the Playoffs.

“We are proud that football fans are embracing the importance of using a sober designated driver by actively participating in this fan responsibility initiative,” said Mac Freeman, Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Denver Broncos. “We want everyone to be safe and enjoy the game, but most importantly, get home safely afterward.”

Fans can sign up at the Bud Light Good Sport designated driver program booth or at any guest services location at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Fans who pledge to be a designated driver for their friends or family will receive a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage and a chance to be selected as the “Designated Driver of the Game.” The Designated Driver of the Game will be recognized during the game and receive a $100.00 gift card to the online team store.

The Denver Broncos Designated Driver of the year, David Ostermeier, was selected at the final home game of the Denver Broncos. He won a $1,000 gift card to the online Broncos Team Store along with a sideline visit at last weekend’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He will also be entered to win – a trip to Super Bowl XLVI® in Indianapolis, IN at Lucas Oil Stadium if the Broncos win the AFC Championship. Rewarding responsible behavior is just as important to the Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk safety message as reminding fans about the risks of drinking and driving.

More information can be found on NHTSA’s Super Bowl XLVI page.