ST. PAUL, Minn. – Football fans planning to drink on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2) are reminded to plan ahead for a sober ride home or call a last-second audible before getting behind the wheel. Law enforcement agencies around the state will be stepping up DWI enforcement patrols to sack drunk drivers as Minnesota tries to make it six years running without a drunk driving death on Super Bowl Sunday, according to the Minnesota Department Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
There have been six traffic deaths during the last five Super Bowl Sundays; however, none were alcohol-related. There were 995 motorists arrested for DWI on those days.
“To keep this Super Bowl streak going for a sixth consecutive year, we need everyone to plan ahead for a sober ride home,” said Donna Berger, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director. “Planning for a sober ride beforehand and making it a habit goes a long way toward stopping preventable traffic deaths.”
Keys to a Safe Super Bowl Sunday / Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
- Plan for a sober ride – designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the location of celebration.
- Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere.
- Buckle up – the best defense against a drunk driver.
- Report drunk driving – call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
Drunk Driving in Minnesota
Each year, nearly 28,000 people are arrested for DWI and one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record.
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time.
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths
(TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Office of Traffic Safety Highlights
- Roads in Minnesota’s 25 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries will be a primary focus for increased DWI enforcement through September 2014.
- In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.
- OTS projects around 395 traffic deaths for 2013 – approximately the same number of traffic deaths that occurred in 2012.
- OTS news archive.
- OTS PSA archive.
- Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.
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