'Fans don't let fans drive drunk' tied to Super Bowl weekend - WSMV Channel 4

'Fans don't let fans drive drunk' tied to Super Bowl weekend

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

The electronic message boards over interstate highways in Tennessee are cautioning "Fans don't let fans drive drunk."

On Friday, state safety officials said the message is tied into Super Bowl weekend and is intended to tap into the football fan base with a safety message.

On Super Bowl weekend four years ago, 23-year-old Anna Walker was killed by a drunk driver. She was drunk, too, and Friday her mother spoke out to help hammer home the message that this could be a deadly weekend on the roads.

Tennessee Department of Safety Commissioner John Schroer said officials want everyone to be safe and has enlisted the Tennessee Titans to help spread the message. Nearly 10,000 Titans fans promised to be designated drivers for friends going to Super Bowl parties, making the Titans one of the top teams in the AFC for pledges.

"The Super Bowl has become a holiday for football fans across the nation," Kendell Poole, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office, said. "If you're hosting a Super Bowl celebration, it is important to know the responsibility of drinking guests could fall on you. Have a good time and enjoy the game, but always be responsible."

Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott said this will be the first Super Bowl weekend under the "no refusal" statute. Police can get a court order to require a blood-alcohol test.

Since 2008, some 1,412 people have died in alcohol-related crashes on Tennessee roadways. Fourteen of those came on a Super Bowl weekend, including Walker.

"Their car had went over four lanes on Gallatin Road in Hendersonville and struck a truck head-on," said her mother, Janelda Adamson.

Walker and the driver both had blood-alcohol levels at least double the legal limit.

Adamson shared her painful experience, hoping other tragedies can be avoided.

"This helps, because I know I'm getting a message out to other parents kids and everybody that it really can happen," she said. "I don't want to see another family go through what we went through."

For anyone who plans on drinking away from home this weekend, authorities warn you to give your keys to a friend, or better yet, call a cab.

Already this year, 75 people have died on Tennessee roads, and preliminary numbers show that seven of those deaths were the result of alcohol-related crashes.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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