ST. PAUL — Public safety officials are reminding Minnesota motorists to designate a sober driver before the coin toss on Super Bowl Sunday to avoid the dangers and consequences of a DWI.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, during Super Bowl Sunday, 2006¬–2010:
Of the nine traffic deaths, four were alcohol-related. This 44 percent rate of alcohol-related fatal crashes is higher than the state’s annual average of more than 30 percent.
1,201 motorists arrested for DWI.
“For any night you plan on celebrating, get in the habit of planning for a sober ride home,” says Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. “To stop preventable traffic deaths we need everyone to avoid the risk of driving impaired and always buckle up.”
Each year in Minnesota, alcohol-related crashes account for more than one-third of the state’s total traffic deaths (an average of 160 annual deaths in last five years) and 30,000 motorists are arrested for DWI.
A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time. Stronger sanctionsare in effect for all repeat DWI offenders, as well as for motorists arrested for a first-time DWI with an alcohol-concentration level of 0.16 and above. Under these sanctions, DWI offenders must use ignition interlock for at least a year or face at least one year without driving privileges. Interlock requires the driver to provide a breath sample under 0.02 for the vehicle to start.
Keys to the Game
• Have a game plan — plan for a safe ride: Designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation, or stay at the location of the celebration.
• Make the call — report impaired driving: Call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Witnesses must be prepared to provide location, license plate and observed dangerous behavior.
DWI enforcement and education is a component of the state’s core traffic safety initiative, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). 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.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.