Sober drivers: A winning game plan for super bowl fans

The Hamilton County Traffic Safety Partnership, a consortium of law enforcement agencies in the county, is huddling up with state and local law enforcement agencies across the county and the state to urge football fans to designate a sober driver, call a cab or use a ridesharing service.

Impaired driving includes alcohol and prescription or illegal drugs. Even over-the-counter medication may cause impairment when combined with alcohol or a second drug. If you’re taking a new drug or a higher dose, talk with your doctor or don’t drive until you know how it affects you.

“Whether you call it drunk, buzzed, wasted, high or stoned, impaired driving means going to jail and losing your driver’s license,” said Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen. “Don’t fumble with your keys after the game. Pass them to a sober driver, or better yet, be a team player and start the game as the designated driver.”

Sober drivers can tweet @NHTSAgov during the Super Bowl broadcast to be featured on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Wall of Fame. For more information about impaired driving visit on.IN.gov/buzzeddriving.

New Portable Breath Tests

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and NHTSA purchased 1,759 new portable breath tests to assist Indiana law enforcement agencies in arresting drunk drivers. An additional 836 devices will be purchased this year.

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to one year.

More information and a list of participating agencies is available at tinyurl.com/HwySafetyPBT.

Sober driving tips

With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired as it endangers you and everyone else around you. Law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving:

  • Designate – or be – a sober driver.
  • Use public transportation.
  • Call a cab or a ridesharing service.
  • Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Android Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. This simple app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend and identify your location for pickup.
  • Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober.
  • Throwing a party? Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food.
  • Never provide alcohol to minors.
  • Ask young drivers about their plans.
  • Friend or family member about to drive? Take the keys and make alternate arrangements.

Report impaired drivers

Impaired driving is three times more common at night than during the day. If you see an impaired driver, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911. Signs of impaired driving include:

  • Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line.
  • Driving at a very slow speed.
  • Braking erratically.
  • Making wide turns.
  • Stopping without cause.
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals.
  • Driving after dark with headlights off.
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Turning abruptly or illegally.

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