GLEN BURNIE, Md. – Planning to watch the Big Game this weekend? 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 their plans for the Big Game, and urging everyone to plan for a sober ride home. More than 30 state and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up for high visibility enforcement to ensure impaired drivers aren’t on the road.
“We want Marylanders to enjoy the Big Game and the festivities, but we also want responsible drivers on the road,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “If you plan on drinking, plan a sober ride home. Public transportation and rideshares are great alternatives to driving impaired and potentially injuring or killing yourself and other motorists.”
In 2020, there were more than 6,000 impaired driving related crashes in Maryland that resulted in 120 fatalities and more than 2,600 injuries.
Have a Game Plan
• Never Drive Drunk: Whether you’re 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 that should be followed: Make sure you — and your passengers — wear your seat belts.
• Bonus Points for the Designated Drivers: If you’re planning to be a 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 Play Book 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 the 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 Penalty Points: 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 of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states and the District of Columbia to drive impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
“Athletes on the field are playing in the Big Game, but Maryland law enforcement is not playing games when it comes to traffic safety,” said Col. Kevin M. Anderson, Chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee for the MCPA and Chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police. “Officers, statewide, will be on patrol, detecting and removing impaired drivers from Maryland roadways. Make the smart choice; plan for a sober ride or be the sober driver.”
Agencies participating in the Big Game enforcement include Maryland State Police, MDTA Police and Natural Resources Police, as well as the following:
• Anne Arundel County Police Department
• Baltimore County Police Department
• Bel Air Police Department
• Bladensburg 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
• Elkton Police Department
• Fruitland 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
• Ocean Pines Police Department
• Prince George’s County Police Department
• Princess Anne Police Department
• Riverdale Police Department
• Rockville Police Department
• St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office
• Sykesville Police Department
• University of Maryland College Park Police Department
• Westminster Police Department
• Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office by visiting ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.