MERCED COUNTY, CA – The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl 50, Sunday, February 7, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the California Office of Traffic Safety and law enforcement officials statewide are urging football fans to call the play now: drinking OR driving. If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.
The ‘Avoid the 11 ‐ Merced County DUI Task Force’ will be deploying DUI Saturations Patrols during and following Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup. Officers will deploy into communities where collision data reveals high incidents of DUI crashes and arrests.
NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road.
According to 2014 data, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol‐impaired‐driving crashes in the United States – 31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation, with crashes spiking on the weekends. California’s 2014 data reveals that 882 individuals were killed in DUI crashes.
A driver is legally considered alcohol‐impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The use of drugs and other factors can lead to arrest or crashes at much lower alcohol levels. This February 7, don’t become a tragic Super Bowl stat – Fans Don’t Let fans Drive Drunk.
Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over‐the‐counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share or public transportation. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up‐to‐date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen.
For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non‐ alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl 50 party, designate a responsible driver before the game begins. One way to thank your designated driver is by tweeting us their name during Super Bowl 50, which will appear on NHTSA’s Wall of Fame.
If you’re the designated driver, be sure to tweet us your name during Super Bowl 50, and make NHTSA’s Wall of Fame!
This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminds everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911’ if you see a dangerous driver call immediately!