Friday, September 18, 2015

It's Tailgating Season...Remember to Pass the Keys!

Fall has arrived, and that means it's football season! Make sure that your game day includes a plan to designate a driver and Pass the Keys at tailgating events and parties.
Nearly 10,000 people lose their lives each year in alcohol-related crashes. DUII arrests increase during football season, and sports fans should be aware that the Oregon State Police, local sheriffs and police departments plan to have extra traffic patrols on game days to keep the roads safe for fans.
"Many public safety personnel are focused on keeping our roads safe for all fans through an exciting season of football,” says Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “But it is each football fan’s job to make the game day experience safe for your family and friends, and the many fans that share congested roads. Let's have a record winning season by designating a driver and passing the keys."
"Let's have a record winning season on the road by designating a driver and passing the keys." 

Before attending tailgate parties or other events that may include alcohol, decide on a strategy to keep your celebrations safe and responsible. Some ideas include:
  • Choose an MVP – a sober, designated driver – before the party even begins.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, get a sober friend to drive you home; call a cab or family member to come get you; or, if possible, stay where you are for the night.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Eat, take breaks, alternate with non-alcoholic drinks and pace yourself. Stay hydrated.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against drunk drivers. 

If you’re hosting a tailgate party:
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party. Always have soft drinks, juices and other non-alcoholic beverages available for those guests who are driving or choose not to drink. Remember that tailgating is an all-ages activity. Non-alcoholic options are especially important for football fans under 21.
  • Host your party like they do at the stadium: Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert.  
  • Plan ahead to get keys. Make sure to examine all of your guests before they leave. Keep in mind, you can be held legally responsible if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.  
  • A good party host is a sober host. Limiting your own alcohol intake will allow you to better determine if a guest is sober enough to drive at the end of the night. Or offer to drive guests home if they need it. Have the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand. 
  • Have a cab fare fund. Having available cash to pay cab fare for your guests if they need it reduces the stress on you. If you can’t afford to pay for it yourself, ask your guests to pitch in a few bucks on your invitation. Print the name of a local cab company on your invitation and ask your guests to program it into their mobile phones.

You can also help local law enforcement by reporting impaired drivers to 911, or Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865).

OLCC, Oregon State Police, and Oregon Department of Transportation encourage adults 21 and over to make our teams proud by celebrating responsibly.

This campaign is funded in part through an educational award grant from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA).