Sunday’s Super Bowl is one of America’s most-anticipated and watched sporting events of the year, an opportunity for family, friends, and fans to gather together and root for their team.
However, the celebration can quickly turn to tragedy when partygoers exercise poor judgment and fail to designate a non-drinking driver.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Football League and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) to spread an important safety message to the public about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday – “Fans don’t let fans drive drunk.”
“Make the responsible decision to designate a driver who can provide a safe ride home, someone who is abstaining from drinking that day,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Impaired drivers destroy thousands of lives every year by simply getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.”
According to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, alcohol was involved in nearly 25 percent of collisions on Super Bowl Sunday 2010 (the most recent year that finalized collision data is available). Those 211 alcohol-involved collisions resulted in the death of six people and injuries to 124 others throughout California.
The CHP will work with law enforcement agencies throughout the state to discourage the public from driving under the influence (DUI) and to try to remove those drivers who are impaired before they injure or kill themselves or others. On average, the past three years (2010-2012), the CHP has made almost 450 DUI arrests on Super Bowl Sunday throughout the state.
The public is also encouraged to be a team player by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect a drunk driver. Callers should be prepared to provide the vehicle’s description, license plate number, location and direction of travel.