NEW YORK, NY (February 16, 2015) – Among the sold out crowd in Madison Square Garden for the 64th NBA All-Star Game last night, New York Knicks fan Brian Fagen was in attendance as the first prize winner of the “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes for designated drivers. Fagen, a resident of Syosset, New York, was named “Designated Driver for the Season” for the Knicks for the 2013-14 season. All 30 NBA teams selected a Designated Driver for the Season. Mr. Fagen was the lucky one randomly selected to represent the nearly 65,000 responsible NBA fans who pledged to be designated drivers last season.
For the last eight NBA seasons, the NBA, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition and NBA teams across the country have been working together to make more fans aware of the designated driver programs at NBA arenas, promote traffic safety and encourage responsible drinking and positive fan behavior. The success of those efforts is demonstrated by the fact that designated driver program participation has more than tripled league-wide since the partnership began in 2006.
The “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes grand prize winners were Jim Corbin and Gerald Mitkowsky. Cobin was named “Designated Driver for the Season” for the San Antonio Spurs and Mitkowsky was selected to represent the Miami Heat for the 2013-14 season. Corbin attended game one of The Finals 2014 and Mitkowsky attended game 3. Designated drivers pledge to refrain from drinking alcohol at the game and provide their friends and family with a safe ride home.
US DOT / NHTSA 2013 NATIONAL DATA:
• In 2013, 10,076 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related (BAC > 0.08) car crashes, a decrease of 2.4% from the 10,322 fatalities in 2012.
• Many, if not most of those lives would have been saved if people did not drive when they were impaired by alcohol or if they used sober, designated drivers or if they simply wore their seat belts.
• Statistics and research clearly show that 21-34 year old males are the demographic most likely to be involved in an automobile crash, drive when impaired by alcohol, and fail to buckle up.