Raleigh - A solid game plan is the first step to victory both on the football field and on the highway. To avoid costly penalties this Super Bowl Sunday, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor's Highway Safety Program remind motorists to celebrate responsibly by designating a sober driver and buckling their seat belts.
"Crashes involving impaired driving are 100-percent preventable, especially when you plan ahead," said GHSP Director Don Nail. "We encourage fans to make a winning decision this Super Bowl by lining up a sober driver and always buckling up."
The choice to drive drunk or not wear a seat belt comes with steep penalties. Drivers and passengers caught not buckled up can face fines of $161. Those who decide to get behind the wheel while impaired stand to lose their license, significant money in court costs and possibly their jobs. They also risk the worst penalty of all -losing their lives or killing someone else.
NCDOT and GHSP want everyone to remember that Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk. Before choosing to drink, be sure to pick your team's MVP -a sober designated driver. GHSP offers these additional safety tips for those attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:
If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab to come and get you, or just stay for the night.
Use your community's sober ride program.
Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.
If you're hosting a Super Bowl party:
Make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely.
Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game, and begin serving coffee and dessert.
Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has been drinking.
Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 2, 2014, there were more than 20,000 crashes on North Carolina highways, resulting in 83 fatalities. Of those crashes, 951 were alcohol-related and resulted in 21 fatalities.
Law enforcement officers across the state will be out day and night on Sunday to show drivers that in North Carolina it is "Booze It & Lose It" and "Click It or Ticket."