• 79°

Don’t drink, drive on Super Bowl Sunday

ATLANTA — Georgia law enforcement and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety remind everyone there is nothing super about making the poor decision to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that alcohol-impaired fatalities often spike on holidays and popular drinking days like Super Bowl Sunday.
State troopers, local sheriff’s deputies and police officers in Georgia urge all fans planning to drink alcohol while watching the big game to make sure they have their plans for a sober ride confirmed before their party kicks off.
“When you are planning where you are going to watch the game and what you are going to bring, go ahead and make those plans for a sober ride home if you are going to drink alcohol,” GOHS Law Enforcement Services Director Roger Hayes said. “Having a simple game plan with a designated driver, rideshare service or taxicab can save lives and spare someone a trip to jail.”
The Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement will maintain their year-round zero tolerance policy for any drunk or impaired drivers they find on the road. No warnings, no excuses.
During last year’s Super Bowl weekend, state troopers made 135 DUI arrests in just three days. The enforcement effort did make a difference, though, with the Georgia Department of Transportation reporting there were no traffic fatalities in 126 alcohol-related crashes.
According to NHTSA, alcohol has been a factor in one out of every four traffic deaths each year in Georgia from 2013 to 2017, and drunk driving killed 10,874 people in the United States in 2017. In Georgia, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) is .08 or higher.
“A DUI conviction can cost someone up to $10,000 in fines, legal bills and higher insurance premiums and could prevent someone from getting a job,” Hayes said. “We ask everyone to join our team by not only not drinking and driving, but to make sure any friend you believe is too impaired to drive gets home safely.”
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety also offers these options and safety reminders:
• Schedule a ride with a rideshare service or cab company before leaving for your party.
• Download NHTSA’s free SaferRide app, available on Apple and Android devices, which can connect you to a local cab company or friend to pick you up.
• Call AAA Tow-2-Go at (855) 286-9246 AAA’s for free ride/tow up to 10 miles f6 a.m. 6:00 a.m. Feb. 4. (More info at https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/safety/tow_to_go.aspx.)
• Be a good host by collecting all of your guests’ keys when they arrive for your party.
• Reward designated drivers with free non-alcoholic drinks and water.
For more information on GOHS’ impaired driving awareness programs, visit https://www.gahighwaysafety.org. Follow GOHS on social media at www.facebook.com/gahighwayafety , @gohsgeorgia on Twitter and Instagram or GOHSGEORGIA on YouTube.