GOHS reminds drivers of zero tolerance for drunken driving

ATLANTA - Super Bowl XLV title takes place this Sunday and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety is warning drivers of Operation Zero Tolerance for impaired driving.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during Super Bowl XLI weekend, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities during the 2006 Super Bowl weekend involved impaired drivers with blood alcohol concentration levels of .08 or higher. On Super Bowl Sunday XLII, the number of traffic fatalities involving drivers with blood-alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher jumped to 48 percent in 2007, according to NHTSA.

GOHS warns drivers that they will go to jail if they're caught driving over the limit as part of its Operation Zero Tolerance. GOHS urges football fans not to don't drink and drive, to plan for a designated driver and to always wear a seat belt.

Director Harris Blackwood of the GOHS, One of every five Georgia crash fatalities is alcohol-related and every alcohol-related death can be prevented, according to GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. 

Safety tips from GOHS for those hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Before kickoff, make sure your guests have designated sober drivers.
  • Never serve alcohol to guests under the age of 21.
  • Serve plenty of food. Include soft drinks, juice and water.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter (just like NFL stadiums) and start serving coffee and dessert instead.
  • Take car keys from anyone who thinks about driving impaired.
  • Keep local cab company numbers handy for impaired guests.

GOHS tips for those at a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a restaurant or sports bar:

  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give them your car keys.
  • Volunteer to be the Designated Driver or offer to be one for the next game.
  • Before drinking, program local cab company numbers in your cell phone so a safe ride is just a call away.
  • Pace yourself. Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Never let a friend out of sight if you think they're about to drive impaired.

For more information on impaired driving prevention for Super Bowl Sunday visit www.FansDontLetFansDriveDrunk.org and visit the GOHS website at www.gahighwaysafety.org

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