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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Designate a Sober Driver for Super Bowl Celebrations
Toss Your Keys Before You Toss One Back

RICHMOND - Whether you're cheering for the Steelers or the Cardinals on Sunday, February 1, the Department of Motor Vehicles' Virginia Highway Safety Office (VAHSO) encourages all Virginians to act responsibly on Super Bowl Sunday. Virginians should choose a HERO ( before leaving for their Super Bowl parties.

The HERO is the designated driver who will stay sober to make sure everyone makes it home safely. Retailers across the Commonwealth are starting to join Virginia's designated driver program by pledging to provide free non-alcoholic beverages to the HERO in your group.

Super Bowl Sunday is one of America's most dangerous days on the roadways due to impaired driving. During Super Bowl Sunday 2008, 48 percent of the nation's traffic fatalities occurred in crashes where a driver or motorcycle rider had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In Virginia, three people were killed in crashes on February 3, 2008, last year's Super Bowl date, and two out of the three deaths were alcohol-related.

"Getting caught driving while impaired will earn you a costly penalty from local law enforcement, and could likely result in loss of your driving privileges and even jail time," said VAHSO Director John Saunders. "Impaired-driving crashes and fatalities can be prevented. Designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone's Super Bowl party list."

The VAHSO also encourages all motorists to take the Highway Safety Challenge on Super Bowl Sunday and everyday by following these rules of the road:

Highway Safety Challenge logo
  • Buckle up
  • Avoid distractions
  • Share the road
  • Drive drug and alcohol free
  • Obey the speed limit

The Highway Safety Challenge ( is a partnership between DMV's VAHSO, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police and a host of other agencies and organizations. The goal of the partnership is to improve safety and reduce traffic deaths in Virginia.

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