GLEN BURNIE, MD (February 10, 2023) – Whether Marylanders are planning to watch the Big Game or just the commercials, the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office are reminding fans not to fumble the celebration: Make plans for a sober ride home. More than 30 state and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up for high visibility enforcement to help keep impaired drivers off the road.
“This weekend is a great time to get together for fun with family and friends, but we want to ensure everyone gets home safely,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative. “The reminder is simple: If you plan to drink, plan a sober ride home.”
After a successful launch over the holiday season, the Governors Highway Safety Association and Responsibility.org have extended the Rideshare credit grant awarded to MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office. This weekend, Marylanders are eligible to receive one $15 rideshare credit each day, while supplies last. A select number of rideshare credits will be available during the following periods this weekend, Friday, February 10, into Monday, February 13:
- 4 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday;
- 4 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday; and
- 4 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday.
To redeem the $15 credit, Marylanders should go to the website ZeroDeathsMD.gov/Rideshare, where a new code will be available at 4 p.m. each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then open the Lyft app, choose “Payment” from the menu on the top left corner, and scroll to the “Add Lyft Pass” section. After inputting the code, $15 will be applied to the user’s account.
Have a Game Plan
According to preliminary data, there were 33 fatalities in February 2022, and more than 200 DUI arrests during last year’s Big Game weekend. To help avoid tragedies this year, MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office and its partners are reminding all travelers and fans to remember these tips:
- Never Drive Impaired: Whether attending a party, hosting one or going out to a bar, keep safety at the center of your plans. When it’s time to leave, make sure your designated driver is sober. If he or she has decided to drink, call a sober ride. If you are driving, remember sober driving isn’t the only law you need to follow. Make sure you, and your passengers, wear seat belts.
- Bonus Points for the Designated Drivers: If you’re the designated driver, know that you’re the night’s MVP. No matter what, do not drink alcohol. People are relying on you. If you are attending a party or at a bar, enjoy the food, the company – and nonalcoholic drinks. If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely. Even if they make a fuss in the moment, they’ll thank you later.
- Host Playbook for the Win: If you’re hosting a party for this year’s Big Game, prepare plenty of snacks and nonalcoholic drinks for your guests and designated drivers. Ask your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance. Remind guests who are drinking that they have a long evening ahead of them, and encourage them to pace themselves, eat food and drink plenty of water.
- Drug-Impaired Driving Penalties: Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — they should not get behind the wheel. It is illegal in all states and the District of Columbia to drive impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
Agencies participating in the Big Game enforcement include Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police, as well as the following:
- Anne Arundel County Police Department
- Baltimore County Police Department
- Bel Air Police Department
- Bowie Police Department
- Calvert County Sheriff’s Office
- Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
- Cecil County Sheriff’s Office
- Charles County Sheriff’s Office
- Chestertown Police Department
- Easton Police Department
- Frederick County Sheriff’s Office
- Frostburg Police Department
- Fruitland Police Department
- Hampstead Police Department
- Harford County Sheriff’s Office
- Howard County Police Department
- Manchester Police Department
- Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
- Montgomery County Police Department
- Ocean City Police Department
- Prince George’s County Police Department
- Princess Anne Police Department
- Queen Anne's County Sheriff’s Office
- Riverdale Police Department
- Rockville Police Department
- St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office
- Somerset Police Department
- Takoma Park Police Department
- University of Maryland College Park Police Department
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office
- Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office
“Just like the teams on the field, Maryland law enforcement is ready for the big game,” MDTA Police Chief Colonel Kevin M. Anderson said. “Police officers across the state will be on the lookout for impaired drivers who are putting everyone on the road at risk.”
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office by visiting ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.