FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; February 9, 2023
PennDOT Teams Up with Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania DUI Association, AAA to Encourage Safe Driving Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania DUI Association, and AAA Mid-Atlantic held an event today at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Philadelphia to remind football fans everywhere that if you’re heading out to a Super Bowl party, make sure you plan a designated driver to get you home safely.
“Safety is PennDOT’s most important priority,” said Acting PennDOT Executive Deputy Secretary Melissa Batula. “We want Eagles fans to enjoy their festivities this weekend, but we also want responsible drivers on our roads. If your celebration includes alcohol, plan ahead by designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation.”
As part of the event, police discussed the increased use of roving patrols on Super Bowl Sunday to target impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Participants also provided Super Bowl party-hosting tips and non-alcoholic drink options to prevent partygoers from drinking and driving.
“Our highway safety mission includes a zero-tolerance approach with drivers who operate vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Pennsylvania State Police Communications Director Lieutenant Adam Reed. “Troopers are trained to identify impaired drivers and remove them from our roadways. Please be responsible this Sunday, as it’s not only a Philly thing, it’s a PA thing.”
Only one team wins Super Bowl, but if you drive impaired, you lose. According to PennDOT data, in 2022, there were 348 crashes statewide from 6:00 PM on Super Bowl Sunday to 6:00 AM the following day. Of those, 46 crashes involved a drinking driver, resulting in one fatality.
“The Pennsylvania DUI Association would like to remind everyone to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl appearance in a safe, and responsible manner,” said Pennsylvania DUI Association Regional Program Administrator Jim French. “If you plan on drinking, please do not drive, arrange for a designated driver or an alternate form of transportation. If you are hosting a party, we ask you provide a fun, and safe environment for your attendees along with options to prevent them from driving away from your party while impaired. Remember, if you feel different, you drive different.”
Whether you are attending a party or going to a bar or restaurant, make a game plan and follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use a ride service, or call a taxi or sober friend to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds unsafe driving behaviors, including impaired driving, rose from 2020 to 2021. The most alarming increase was among drivers admitting to getting behind the wheel after drinking enough that they felt they were over the legal limit – an increase of nearly 24%. According to new survey data in the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, this is a reversal in the steady declines in these dangerous driving behaviors in the three years from 2018 through 2020.
“Drinking and driving is not a game – it’s a deadly combination, and a crime,” said Jana Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Make your winning drive sober and designate a driver before indulging in alcohol. Don’t fumble when it comes to safety. Drunk driving is 100% preventable.”
To learn more about PennDOT’s highway safety efforts, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/safety.