GLEN BURNIE, MD (February 8, 2024) – If your plans this weekend include watching the Big Game and your night involves consuming alcohol or recreational drugs outside your home, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MVA) Highway Safety Office is reminding fans not to fumble the celebration: make plans for a sober ride home. More than 25 state and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up for high visibility enforcement to help keep impaired drivers off the road.
“Whether you are planning on gathering to watch the game itself, the half-time show or just the commercials, we want to ensure everyone gets home safely,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our reminder is simple: if you plan to drink or consume drugs, plan a sober ride home.”
According to preliminary data, there were 36 fatalities in February 2023, and nearly 200 DUI arrests during last year’s Big Game weekend. To help avoid tragedies this year, the MVA’s Highway Safety Office and its partners are reminding all travelers and fans to remember these tips:
- Never Drive Impaired: Whether you are 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, make a call for 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 your 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 or consume drugs. 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 or consuming drugs 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.
Agencies participating in the Big Game enforcement include Maryland State Police and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police, as well as the following:
- Anne Arundel County Police Department
- Baltimore County Police Department
- City of Bowie Police Department
- Calvert County Sheriff’s Office
- Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
- Charles County Sheriff’s Office
- Chestertown Police Department
- Fruitland Police Department
- Garrett County Sheriff’s Office
- Hampstead Police Department
- Harford County Sheriff’s Office
- Howard County 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
- Rockville Police Department
- Somerset County Sheriff’s Office
- Sykesville Police Department
- Talbot County Sheriff's Office
- Univ of MD College Park Police Department
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office
Learn more about the MVA’s Highway Safety Office by visiting ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.