AAA: Drive sober or game over

(KBSI) – The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles will face off in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

Millions of people will watch the game at bars, restaurants, and homes all across Missouri and the nation. That’s why the AAA reminds drivers to prevent alcohol and drug-impaired driving this coming weekend.

In 2021, there were 215 fatalities on Missouri roadways involving an alcohol or drug impaired driver, which accounted for one out of every five traffic fatalities last year, according to the latest statistics from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety (MCRS).

“Our message to drivers is drive sober or game over,” said Nick Chabarria, AAA Spokesperson. “A DUI collision could forever change your life or someone else’s life, leave you with a lifetime full of guilt, prevent you from getting the job you want, and cost you a lot of money. Your entire life could be negatively impacted by making the wrong decision to drive after drinking alcohol or consuming marijuana.”

Legal recreational marijuana and driving is also a concern. Whether you smoke, vape or consume edibles, getting behind the wheel when you’re high on marijuana poses a risk to everyone on the road as well. Next to alcohol, marijuana is the drug most found in drivers who have been involved in collisions, according to AAA.

Research shows drivers involved in crashes who also tested positive for THC were three to seven times more likely to be responsible for having caused the crash.

Marijuana’s affects on driving abilities include:

  • Difficulty maintaining attention
  • Slower reaction times
  • Inability to stay in traffic lanes
  • Difficulty judging distances
  • Slower decision-making
  • Reduced peripheral/side vision
  • Reduced coordination

AAA offer the following tips to ensure safe roads this Super Bowl weekend:

Party Hosts:

  • Ask guests to designate a sober driver in advance.
  • Keep phone numbers for sober ride services handy.
  • Take car keys from partygoers as they arrive and don’t let them drive impaired.
  • Encourage guests to pace themselves. Serve food and non-alcoholic drinks and water. Many mocktail recipes, including those featuring team colors, can be found online.
  • Do not serve alcohol or cannabis to anyone under age 21. It is illegal.
  • Allow guests to stay overnight, if possible.

Super Bowl Fans and Partygoers:

  • Designate a sober driver or safe ride home before attending a Super Bowl party.
  • Make sure your designated driver is sober. If he or she decides to drink, call a sober friend or family member for a ride home. Or, if possible, stay where you are for the night.
  • Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been consuming marijuana or drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
  • If you’re under 21, do not consume alcohol or marijuana. It’s against the law.

Designate Drivers:

  • Take your role as designated driver seriously. Refrain from any alcoholic beverages or drugs.
  • Always buckle up and require passengers to do the same.
  • If someone you know has been drinking or using marijuana, take their keys and help them get home safely.
  • If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
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