SUPER BOWL: If you drink and drive, expect to pay the consequences

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Some say the Super Bowl means super-sized pressure to binge drink.  That’s why State Police will be looking for drunk drivers, and business owners will be watching too.

Local businesses like Home Team Grill on West Main in the Fan are gearing up for what’s expected to be a busy Sunday.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Andy Hall, the Home Team Grill general manager, said.  “Hopefully, it will bring in a little bit more than last year’s Super Bowl when there’s not a home team.”

Manager Andy Hall tells CBS 6, while he’s anticipating that Super Bowl fans will fill up his restaurant on game day, he’ll be monitoring the crowd.

“We’re not just out to make a dollar,” Hall said.  “We want to make sure everyone is safe and making sure they’re not harming someone else’s chance to have a good time.”

State Police are asking you to do the same.  They’re setting up checkpoints and patrolling Virginia’s roadways on Super Bowl Sunday.

So, before you reach for that bottle of gin or vodka, troopers are putting out this warning:  be a team player and don’t drink and drive Super Bowl Sunday.  If not, they’re coming after you.

Robin Washington says party goers should find other ways to get home.

“If you’re going to drink, have a designated driver to take you home, so, you won’t destroy somebody else’s life.”

According to State Police, there were 94 fatal crashes reported in 2011, including 17 that were alcohol-related.  The number of fatal crashes went down to 68 last year.  Only 10 of those fatal accidents reported were alcohol-related. 

Alarming statistics, but people we spoke with say they plan to be careful and not let it ruin their fun.

“I definitely go out,” Ryan Greer said.  “You just have to keep an eye out for things,” he added.  “There will be drunk drivers out there.”

“I hope that someday it will get to a point where there’s not so many people out there drinking and driving,” Brigid Bartells said.  “I think there’s still a lot of people who think that it’s okay.”

State Police are urging you to report suspected drunk drivers by dialing #77 on your cell phone.  Anyone caught driving under the influence faces up to a year in a jail, a $2,500 fine and your license will be suspended.

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