Although there are no hometown teams in the mix this year, many Marylanders are still excited for the big game. By now, we imagine most of your plans are in order. You know where you’ll watch the game. You know what delicious snacks you’ll bring to share as you cheer on your chosen team. Of course, if you’re planning to drink, you should also know how you’re getting a safe ride home afterward. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always a losing game plan. This year, police agencies across the state will be stepping up their enforcement efforts to stop impaired drivers before they end their game day celebrations permanently.

What’s Your Game Plan?

Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, having a game plan for safe and sober driving can help everyone get home safely. Here are some tips:

  1.  Be the Sober Driver – Don’t Drink if You Plan to Drive

If you bring your car to the party, plan to abstain from alcohol during the game. Be the Sober Driver and offer to drive other friends home.

2.  Don’t Drive if You Drink

If you decide to drink at the party, don’t drive home afterward. Grab a ride with a sober friend, call a ride share or take public transportation. Even if you brought your car, it is best to leave it and come back for it later.

3.  Food

We know it wouldn’t really be a party without a buffet of chips, dips, and spicy wings. Please make sure if you are consuming alcohol, you’re also eating. Drinking on an empty stomach can result in alcohol passing more quickly into the bloodstream and can intensify the effects of drinking.

4.  Designate a Sober Bartender

When people get caught up in the game, they might drink more than originally intended. Don’t let intoxicated guests mix their own drinks and stop serving before the last hour of the game.

5.  Offer Non-Alcohol Alternatives

Make sure you have alcohol-free alternatives available to your guests. Fresh lemonade, sparkling water, sodas or even mocktails are great choices for guests who plan to be the sober driver after the party.

6.  Make Sure Everyone Gets a Safe Ride Home

Make a pact with your friends that you’ll look out for each other. If someone has had too much to drink, stop them from getting behind the wheel. Take away their keys if you need to, give them a place to sober up or call them a ride. Remember, tipsy driving is drunk driving. This goes not only for this Sunday, but every time you go out. Be the Make A Plan Driver, because there’s never a good excuse to drink and drive.