ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW/Release) - Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard & Elizabeth Obad of Mothers Against Drunk Driving will be announcing a joint effort in helping to combat drunk driving from Bills home games on Wednesday, September 12th at 12:15 P.M. in the media room inside the Bills' Training Facility in Orchard Park, N.Y.
The Bills, MADD, and the Erie County Sheriff's Office are part of a NFL network aimed at encouraging fans to become a "Designated Driver" after the football game.
The Buffalo Bills and the local Chapter of MADD were one of only two teams that began the NFL pilot program two years ago. Now, because of its success, it has expanded to ten other teams including the Chicago Bears; Cincinnati Bengals; Denver Broncos; Cleveland Browns; Arizona Cardinals; Dallas Cowboys; Philadelphia Eagles; Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins.
Fans are encouraged to stop by the MADD tents at Gates 3 and 5 on game day- Sundays at Ralph Wilson Stadium, between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. and sign up to be a responsible fan by being the sober driver of the game.
In doing so, fans get some giveaways and an opportunity to win two Super Bowl tickets to the Super Dome next year in New Orleans. (As an aside, the first year the NFL, MADD & the Bills signed on to do this, a fan from Buffalo won two Super bowl tickets).
"I am very happy to be assisting in this very important initiative," said Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard.
"Driving drunk is not an accident. It is a very poor choice by an individual who has total disregard for either the safety of his fellow passengers or the citizens on the highways he may encounter.
"We take our mission to keep our roadways safe very seriously; last year we arrested 374 people for drunk driving- more than one a day. Do not become one of those statistics. Sign the pledge and be a responsible fan."
"The Buffalo Bills are proud to partner with the Erie County Sheriff's Office and MADD to help promote responsible fan behavior with the Designated Driver program', said Andy Major, Bills Vice President Event Operations and Guest Experience.
"In our efforts to improve the game day experience for all fans, we are pleased to promote this partnership as an initiative under the NFL's Game Day Best Practices.
"We are urging everyone to plan ahead by designating a sober driver", said Elizabeth Obad, President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) - Erie County Chapter.
"Then you and everybody with you can relax and enjoy the game. We would like to thank the Bills and the NFL for their affiliation with MADD the past two seasons to help us get their fans home safe and sound.
"It is such a simple choice to plan ahead before the game begins. Sheriff Howard realizes all too well what can happen on area roadways when someone chooses to drink and drive. We welcome the support and participation from the Erie County Sheriff's Office this year to help us keep the roads and our Bills fans safe!"