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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Driving While Impaired is March Madness
Basketball Fans Urged to Drink Responsibly During Tournament

RICHMOND - College hoops are in the spotlight for the next few weeks. If you plan to consume alcohol while cheering on your team, pass your keys to a sober designated driver. The Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) Virginia Highway Safety Office cautions motorists to act responsibly during March Madness.

"The road to the Final Four is not for impaired drivers," said DMV Commissioner D.B. Smit. "If you're going out to watch the games, you need to play it safe. Choose a sober designated driver ahead of time."

If you're hosting a March Madness party, make it your responsibility to get all of your guests home safely. Remember you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve ends up in an impaired driving crash.

Basketball fans are reminded to have a designated driver. Call a cab, a friend or a family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are. Never let a friend leave your sight if they've had too much to drink.

"The college basketball tournament is truly one of the great American sports spectacles," Smit said. "All Virginians should enjoy the games, but celebrate responsibly."

DMV's Virginia Highway Safety Office, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia State Police want to remind all those who plan on celebrating during March Madness to drink responsibly. The three state agencies joined forces under a statewide public awareness campaign called the Virginia Highway Safety Challenge, http://www.safevahighways.org/. The challenge recommends these five calls to action to avoid being Virginia's next traffic fatality.

  • Drive drug and alcohol free
  • Buckle up
  • Avoid distractions
  • Obey speed limits
  • Share the road

Here are some key March Madness dates, according to the NCAA. March 20 and 21 is the first round. March 22 and 23 is the second round. Sweet sixteen is March 27 and 28. The elite eight play March 29 and 30. The final four play April 5, and April 7 is the championship game.

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