In many instances, fans will gather to watch the game at sports bars, restaurants or Super Bowl-themed parties. The California Office of Traffic Safety, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Football League and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management), have joined forces with law enforcement in the ‘AVOID the 12’ – Santa Barbara County’s County DUI Task Force 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.
“Before choosing to drink, choose a sober designated driver. Avoid the unsportsmanlike conduct of driving drunk by handing off your keys so that you, your passengers and everyone on our roads can safely arrive home,” said Sgt. Kevin Huddle of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office. “Drunk driving is always preventable, and driving drunk could result in seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else. Motorists can expect Police, Sheriff and CHP to have a visible presence and to stop anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive.”
The ‘AVOID the 12’ DUI Task Force will be deploying special roving DUI patrols on Sunday, February 3rd in the cities of Guadalupe, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. Officers are looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. These DUI patrols, in addition to regularly scheduled patrol officers, are all looking for the tell-tale signs of an intoxicated driver behind the wheel.
In California, 774 people were killed in DUI crashes, with over 24,000 injured. These drunk-driving fatalities accounted for 29 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in California. In addition, alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was almost twice as high during the weekend (31%) than during weekdays (16%) and four times higher at night (37%) than during the day (9%), according to NHTSA.
“We want everyone to make the right decision on Super Bowl Sunday,” said Chris Murphy, Director of the Californian Office of Traffic Safety. “Game planning a sober driver is the best bet possible. It’s everyone’s call to make this year’s Super Bowl Sunday safe.”
‘AVOID the 12’ refers to the number of Law Enforcement agencies in Santa Barbara County that you will avoid being in contact with should you chose to drive sober.
The Avoid DUI Patrols are funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who reminds everyone to Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1!