Maryland State Police are encouraging football fans to designate a sober driver if they plan to drink on Super Bowl Sunday.
Troopers from 22 barracks around the state will specifically target drunken and aggressive driving on Sunday, the agency announced in a news release.
“We must remain vigilant to maintain the safety of our motorists and for those traveling throughout Maryland,” said Col. Marcus L. Brown, superintendent of the Maryland State Police. “The aim of our extra drunk and aggressive driving patrols is to arrest those who choose to disregard the law and who endanger the lives of everyone.”
Maryland State Police offered the following tips for those who are drinking:
- Plan ahead. Stay at a nearby hotel or remain where you are until you are sober.
- Use public transportation or a taxi. The following companies serve Montgomery County:
- Action Taxi: 301-840-1222
- Barwood Taxicabs: 301-984-1900
- Orange Taxi: 301-912-0000
- Regency Cab: 301-990-9000
- Sun Cab: 301-252-0575
If you are hosting a party:
- Make guests designate their sober drivers before kick-off or help arrange ride sharing with sober drivers.
- Reward designated drivers. Give them a great spot to watch the game. Make sure their glass is always full with a non-alcoholic beverage. Give them first pass at the buffet table. Make sure their cars are easy to access when its time to start driving guests home.
- Serve plenty of food.
- Offer a variety of non-alcoholic choices like soft drinks, juices, and water.
- Serve one drink at a time and serve measured drinks.
- Only serve alcohol to guests over 21 years of age.
- Determine ahead of time when you’ll stop serving alcohol. Pick a time such as one hour before the end of the party or at the end of third quarter of the game, and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Add the numbers of local cab companies to your phone so they are just a touch away. (See our list of companies serving Montgomery County above.)
- Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.
State police advise drivers that driving under the influence charges come with a host of fees and penalties. A first-time DUI offense can result in a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail and a license suspension of six months. Insurance, legal fees and towing costs could also create a financial burden.
Driving with a blood alcohol content of .07 (driving while impaired) is illegal in Maryland and .08 (driving under the influence) or higher is illegal in every state. A driver under the age of 21, with any measureable alcohol in their system is in violation of alcohol laws in Maryland.
Last year, on Super Bowl Sunday, police in Maryland arrested more than 80 drunk drivers.