Sober drivers are the real stars of the Sugar Bowl

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Dec. 29, 2023 – The 90th Sugar Bowl kicks off Monday night in New Orleans, and whether you’re cheering for the Texas Longhorns or the Washington Huskies, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reminds everyone that sober drivers are the real stars of the game.

The New Year’s Day football game draws more than 100,000 people to New Orleans each year. It’s no secret that New Orleans is a party town, and many people will enjoy alcohol before, during, and after the game, whether they’re at the Caesar’s Superdome, in the French Quarter, or watching on TV.

“We want people to have a good time,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. “But starting 2024 by drinking and driving is dangerous, illegal, and potentially deadly.”

Last year during New Year’s weekend there were 10 fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in Louisiana, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Motor Vehicle Crash Data Querying and Reporting. In 2022, over 30% of fatal crashes in Louisiana involved alcohol.

“People greatly overestimate their ability to drive when they’ve been drinking alcohol,” Freeman said. “Alcohol alters judgment, reactions, alertness, and depth perception – pretty much all the tools needed to be a safe driver.”


Freeman urged people who will be watching the game with others but don’t plan on drinking to volunteer to be a sober driver.

“We like to call designated drivers the Sober MVPs of the game,” she said. “Putting a sober driver in your game plan allows impaired people to get home safely. In a word, sober drivers are 'lifesavers,' who deserve an award of their own.”


If you are hosting a party for people watching the game on TV, remember to offer non-alcoholic alternatives for your guests. Ask people who aren’t drinking if they would serve as designated drivers. And keep an eye out for anyone who has been drinking and tries to get behind the wheel.

“Remember, someone who has been drinking cannot offer any kind of assessment of their own ability to drive,” Freeman said. “Call them a cab or a rideshare or ask a designated driver to take them home. It’s a great way to start a new year.”

For more information, contact:

Gregory Fischer, Public Information Officer

DPS – Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

[email protected]

225-925-7858 office

225-489-1969 mobile

Mark Lambert


[email protected]

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