Leave the Penalties on the Field - Designate A Sober Driver

January 30, 2015 - Traffic Safety - Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

STATEWIDE — As Super Bowl XLIX approaches, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and law enforcement agencies statewide remind Super Bowl fans to designate a sober driver for the big game. Super Bowl DUI enforcement begins today and ends Monday.

Colorado agencies, along with the National Football League (NFL), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, are working together to prevent impaired driving during and after one of the most highly watched sports events of the year. Increased DUI enforcement will be in place this weekend, from 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30, through 3 a.m., Monday, Feb. 2, to arrest impaired drivers, whether driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, prescription or illegal drugs.

 “We know that no matter who plays in the Super Bowl, people are heading to house parties, bars and restaurants to enjoy the game,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “CSP and our law enforcement partners throughout the state are committed to being on the lookout for impaired drivers and getting them off the roads as quickly as possible.”

According to CDOT, 327 impaired driving arrests were made over Super Bowl weekend in 2014 – with Colorado State Patrol (63), Denver (40), and Aurora (34) topping out the list of most arrests.

“The number of impaired driving fatalities that occur in Colorado is unfortunate, and something that can easily be prevented,” Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “According to NHTSA, there were more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities nationally in 2013, 142 of which were in Colorado. We’d like to see that number consistently decrease each year — especially in Colorado.”

 If you’re watching the Super Bowl away from home, remember to:

  • Make a plan before kickoff, whether that’s having a sober friend or family member give you a ride home, calling a cab, using a rideshare service, or taking public transit.
  • Pace yourself, eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks, like water.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against drunk drivers.

 If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, remember to:

  • Make sure your guests designate a sober driver in advance or arrange for alternate transportation home.
  • Serve plenty of food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter.
  • Pay attention to partygoers for signs of intoxication and make a plan for them to get safely home.
  • Take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.

The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.