Super Bowl Sunday’s real MVPs are designated drivers
MELISSA (February 2, 2021) While those of us who cheer for the Dallas Cowboys may be disappointed that our team is not playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7, many Melissa residents will nevertheless be watching, either to cheer on the Chiefs or Buccaneers, to join in a watch party, or simply to enjoy the last game of the season.
Melissa Municipal Court personnel, along with members of the Melissa Police Department, urge every Melissa resident who plans on watching the game to exercise good judgment in protecting themselves and their families from inadvertent infections, as well as the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
“People are quarantining and practicing social distancing, but we know watch parties and cookouts will still occur,” says Municipal Court Administrator Lorie Lambert. “If you attend a Super Bowl celebration that involves alcohol, plan for a sober ride home. And, if you’re hosting a gathering of immediate family or your ‘pod’ friends, make sure you take care of your designated drivers. Remind your friends and family that fans don’t let fans drive drunk.”
When the game ends and it’s time to get in the car and leave, fans should be sure that their designated driver is actually sober. If he or she has decided to drink, arrangements for an alternate sober ride will be necessary.
Walking home while impaired can also be dangerous, so a sober friend should be designated to walk along, all the way home. Drivers should also remember that sober driving isn’t the only law that should be followed. Every occupant in the car must wear their seat belt.
“Designated drivers are the real MVPs of the day,” says Police Chief Duane Smith. “Designated drivers should not have even one alcoholic drink because people are depending on them. Party hosts should be aware of and prevent anyone who has been drinking to drive. They might make a fuss in the moment, but they’ll thank you later.”
Hosts should prepare plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for guests and designated drivers, and they shouldn’t forget to include hand sanitizer and some disposable masks.
The pandemic has affected people in many different ways, and one of those is a higher-than-normal level of alcohol consumption. In fact, over the last six months, Melissa Police have reported nearly 20 stops for alcohol-impaired driving, including residents and non-residents.
The costs associated with driving while under the influence of alcohol can go far beyond the fines imposed by the court. These costs can include unpaid time away from or loss of a job, a serious blemish on a person’s record, and worst of all, death or injury related to drunk driving.
So, while we may not be cheering for our favorite team in the Super Bowl, we can certainly enjoy the game and get home safely and securely.