SAN DIEGO — With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, the Auto Club of Southern California and law enforcement officials are stressing that individuals drink responsibly and avoid driving under the influence.
During the last five Super Bowl Sundays, there were more than 1,300 DUI crashes across the state resulting in 750 serious injuries and 43 fatalities, California Highway Patrol said.
Safe driving advocates encourage folks who plan on drinking during the Super Bowl to have a designated driver or make arrangements to get a Lyft, Uber or a cab.
“Don’t get into a situation where you plan on driving home, have a few too many drinks and then decide that you’re going to drive home anyways,” an officer with the San Diego Police department said to FOX 5.
Advocates and law enforcement also stress that drivers could get a DUI by driving after consuming marijuana.
“Alcohol isn’t the only impairing substance. Legal recreational marijuana consumption and driving could lead to a DUI as well,” said Anlleyn Venegas, a senior public affairs specialist for Auto Club of Southern California. “(CHP) mentioned the 43 fatalities. Those are families whose lives have been changed forever. You don’t want to live with the guilt for the rest of your life.”
Monica Zech, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving speaker, knows the agony of loosing a loved one after a DUI crash.
“My father was killed by a drunk driver in June 1982 and it’s been 30 years,” Zech said. “Sometimes they say time takes away the pain… no it doesn’t.”
13 years later, her daughter was also hit and injured by a DUI driver.
“It’s a tragedy over 11,000 people killed each year but it’s the most preventable collision of all in that just take precautions.” Said Zech.
Many establishments with Super Bowl viewing, like Park & Rec in University Heights, will be serving up mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks.
While law enforcement says that they’ll have added patrols this weekend, they want everyone to have fun and be responsible.