Starting on Wednesday and running though Sunday, police will add additional patrols to scour local roadways for drunk drivers. Beyond increased patrols through the weekend, South Brunswick Police plan a heavy focus on Sunday evening during and following the matchup between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium.
“We want people to enjoy themselves, but drinking and driving is not part of that fun,” said Chief Raymond Hayducka. “Our plan is by educating the public in advance and increasing enforcement, we can have a safe Super Bowl weekend.”
Safety advocates have noted that Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally one the biggest drinking events of the year, with individual parties at homes and theme promotions at restaurants and sports bars, police said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 40 percent of fatal crashes on Super Bowl Sunday in 2010 were attributed to drunk driving, with alcohol playing a factor in a fatal accident every 52 minutes.
The NHTSA urges the public to celebrate responsibly and offers the following safety tips:
- Designate your sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself – eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive and have had too much to drink.
- Always buckle up – it's still your best defense against other drunk drivers.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
- Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink