SAN DIEGO — Ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, California Highway Patrol is urging San Diego residents to make a plan for getting home safely from any festivities where they might be drinking alcohol.
CHP and federal traffic safety officials are calling the effort “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk,” and they released some sobering statistics alongside the standard calls to avoid impaired driving.
On the night of last year’s Super Bowl, five people were killed and 105 were injured in alcohol-involved crashes on California roadways, CHP said in a news release. Officers also made 229 arrests for DUI, potentially averting further disaster in some cases.
Local officials say they’re taking steps to catch more drivers before they hurt themselves or someone else. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will have “increased impaired driving patrols” beginning Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. and lasting through 5 a.m. Monday. The sheriff’s department said it arrested 18 people on suspicion of DUI on the day of last year’s game.
“If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, be responsible and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel,” CHP wrote. “Offer nonalcoholic beverage choices for designated drivers and remind your guests to designate a sober driver before the game begins.”
The sheriff’s department added a warning about other drugs, too. “A reminder: DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,” officials said in a news release. “Prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana can also impair, especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs.”
If residents spot someone they think could be driving high or drunk, CHP asked them to call 911. Be prepared to provide a description of the car, its location, the license plate number and which way it’s headed.
“Do not turn a day of fun into a lifetime of regret,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement.