ST. PAUL — With the Big Game in Minneapolis this year, an estimated one million people will come to the Twin Cities for the event and the activities in the days prior to the game. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) is providing some advice to Minnesotans and visitors from across the world to help them safely enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Minnesota is excited to welcome football fans from across the world for Super Bowl LII,” said DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman. “Federal, state, and local partners have worked hard to ensure this will be a safe event, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to be vigilant and mindful of personal choices that could affect your decision-making.”
Super Bowl 4 a.m. Bar Closing — Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED)
The law passed last year to allow extended bar hours during the Super Bowl requires individual cities to approve a temporary four-day extension of hours. Municipalities can require registration and a fee for the establishments to remain open past the traditional closing time.
Before deciding to take advantage of the 4 a.m. closing time, establishments should check with their individual municipalities to see if the city has adopted the Super Bowl bar closing time change.
Fake ID/Underage Drinking — Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division
Tens of thousands of people across the state will choose to celebrate the Super Bowl at parties that include alcohol. While it is illegal for those under 21 to consume or purchase alcohol, it’s also up to sellers to be vigilant, and be on the lookout for underage buyers.
Establishments or individuals can face fines or criminal charges for selling alcohol to minors. Selling alcohol to a minor or buying it for those under 21 can also lead to civil lawsuits if injury or death is suffered due to the intoxicated minor.
DPS-AGED reminds establishments and liquor stores to card everyone, every time. Parents, know that you can be held responsible for serving alcohol to minors and that it’s important to educate your teens on the dangers of consuming alcohol and driving under the influence.
Gambling — Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division
The American Gaming Association estimated $4.7 billion was wagered on the Big Game last year with the majority being illegal betting.
DPS-AGED agents remind establishments that while it is fine for two friends to place a friendly wager between them, organized sports betting, including football boards in establishments, is illegal. If you’re giving or accepting money or something of value and you’re paying out prizes, it’s illegal. Establishments not only face criminal charges, but the bars and restaurants where this occurs can face regulatory sanctions, fines, and have their licenses suspended or revoked.
Sex Trafficking Crackdown — Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)
Minnesota law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, are working together to stop sex traffickers and anyone who tries to purchase trafficking victims for sex.
- Traffickers — Get caught trafficking in Minnesota and you’ll spend up to 20 years in prison.
- Johns — Your mug shot is going to be seen by a lot of people, and you may be required to register as a predatory offender.
- Victims — Get help by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or send the text HELP to 233733.
- Recognize the signs and report suspected sex trafficking to law enforcement by calling 911.
Intensified Drug Enforcement — Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Illicit opioid drug use is a game, too — Russian Roulette. Your supplier has no idea which dose would kill you, and neither will you.
- Sellers — Undercover BCA narcotics agents are targeting you, your supplier, and your customers.
- Users — Get information, get treatment and stay alive.
Drug evidence submissions to the BCA drug lab containing suspected Fentanyl jumped more than 180 percent in the last two years. Drug addiction can happen to your friends, co-workers and family. Recognize the signs and get them the help they need.
Need help? Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t — Emergency Communication Networks (ECN)
When an emergency takes place, our first instinct is to call 911. But Text-to-911 is a new way to get help. The service is available to everyone within the state of Minnesota, even with an out-of-state phone number.
Text-to-911 should only be used when a person can’t safely make a voice call:
- When someone must stay quiet to remain safe.
- If peer pressure is strong.
- To report domestic violence, home invasions, human trafficking, and agitated/suicidal individuals.
Text-to-911 can be the first contact option for individuals who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or those with speech impairments. Remember: Location is not as accurate with text as it is with a call.
If there is an emergency and you cannot call 911, take these steps:
- Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field.
- Text your exact location and type of emergency.
- Send the message.
- Promptly answer questions and follow instructions.
TIPS: Use simple words. Do not use abbreviations, emoji’s, pictures or slang. Do not text and drive!
Texting 911 with a false report is a crime. If you accidentally send a text to 911, send another text, or call 911 to let the dispatcher know that there is no emergency. Emergency response may be lengthened due to the time it takes for a text to 911 to be typed and sent.
New to Minnesota? Know Where You Are! — Emergency Communication Networks
It’s important to know where you are in case of an emergency. Emergency dispatchers won’t know your exact location unless you call from a landline. Dispatchers can only triangulate a location with a cell phone call. Remember:
- Dispatchers can send help more quickly with a precise street address, intersection, mile marker or well-known landmark.
- Follow instructions; you may be told to stay where you are and wait for rescuers.
- Callers should not hang up until they know what will happen next.
Safety in Crowds and Suspicious Behavior — Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM)
Once a million visitors descend on the Twin Cities, even familiar locations will look drastically different for native Minnesotans. The busy environment will be crowded and can be overwhelming. DPS-HSEM encourages if you “See Something, Say Something.” Don’t leave it to someone else. Your call could be the one that makes the difference.
- Large crowds provide convenient cover for suspicious behavior. Stay vigilant at all times.
- Know what is happening in your surroundings, along with entry and exit points in the event of an emergency.
- If you see something or someone out of place, report it right away.
- Notice someone entering a restricted area, taking pictures of entry/exit ways, or acting strangely? Speak up!
- Find an object that was left behind? Do not touch it! Move a safe distance away and tell someone.
Learn more about the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.
DPS-HSEM is partnering with local, state and federal partners during the Super Bowl to provide logistics and operations support so law enforcement and other agencies can respond to an incident or threat. DPS-HSEM will be monitoring events and will fully activate the State Emergency Operations Center if needed.
Dress for the Winter — Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Winter weather can pose a deadly threat in mere minutes for any unprepared person exposed to the elements. Frostbite and hypothermia are two common winter threats. That’s why you shouldplan ahead and dress appropriately.
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, water repellant, warm clothing. This includes: winter coat, hat, insulated mittens/gloves, insulated pants, water-resistant boots and a scarf.
- Frostbite causes your skin to become very cold and red, then numb and then hard and pale.
- Hypothermia causes your body temperature to drop and affects the brain, making you unable to think clearly or move well.
Winter Survival Kit — Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Drivers can become stranded for long periods of time anywhere — whether you’re in a well-populated or a rural area. Response from law enforcement may be delayed due to weather conditions, lack of cell phone service, or an increase in calls for help.
- Stranded drivers should stay in their vehicle to take shelter from the elements.
- A winter survival kit should be kept in all vehicles in the event of spin outs and/or break downs.
- Your winter survival kit should include the following items: boots, jackets, gloves, blankets, a cell phone charger, flashlight with spare batteries, bottled water and snacks, booster cables, basic tools, sand or cat litter, a red bandana, a pencil and paper.
Heads Up as You Travel Around the Twin Cities — Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)
Visit http://www.mnsuperbowl.com/transportation to learn about options for getting around the Twin Cities, updates on road closures and other travel information.
An estimated one million people will be coming into the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl and the events leading up to game day. With the increased activity, both drivers and pedestrians need to pay special attention to traffic and people crossing streets throughout the metropolitan area.
Guidance for motorists:
- Treat every corner as a crosswalk and stop for pedestrians crossing at all corners and crosswalks whether marked or unmarked — this is the law.
- Drive at safe speeds and scan for pedestrians.
- Pay attention — driver distraction is a leading cause of pedestrian/vehicle crashes.
- Use extra caution when turning to look for pedestrians in blind spots.
Guidance for pedestrians:
- Cross at a corner, a marked crosswalk or where a traffic light is present.
- Pay attention, look both ways before crossing, and make eye contact with drivers before entering the road to ensure they see you.
- Continue to look both ways while crossing; distracted drivers aren’t looking out for pedestrians.
- Never cross in the middle of the road or walk down an interstate.
- Wear bright colored clothing when walking at night.
Commit to a Sober Game Plan — Office of Traffic Safety
From football fanatics to the “I only watch for the commercials” viewer, the Big Game is a fun time and a big party. People will be enjoying festivities prior to game day and watching the Super Bowl in-person, on TV and online with friends and family. To make it home safely, people need to plan ahead if they plan to drink.
- Plan for a safe ride — designate a sober driver; use a cab, alternative car service or public transportation; or stay at the location of the party.
- Speak up — offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, get them a safe ride home.
- Buckle up — the best defense in any type of crash.
- Report drunk driving — call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.
DPS-OTS’ Big Game advertising campaign is reminding Minnesotans and Twin Cities visitors on the importance of creating a sober game plan.
Cooking for the Big Game? Stay in the Kitchen — State Fire Marshal (SFM)
Leaving food cooking unattended on the stove can be a recipe for disaster. Stay in the kitchen while cooking your big game goodies. Don’t let yourself get distracted by a good commercial or a big play. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of residential fires in Minnesota. Baking something in the oven? Bring a timer with you so you don’t forget about it. Keep items like towels, plastic or wooden containers and at least three feet from the stove.
If a grease fire starts, there are three important tips to extinguish it properly:
- Put on an oven mitt.
- Slide a lid or cookie sheet over the fire.
- Turn off the heat source and leave the pan alone. Removing the lid too soon could cause the fire to reignite.
Never throw water on a grease fire or try to remove the pan from the flames. You could seriously injure yourself or spread the fire. If the fire spreads, get out of the house and call 911.
Keep your Party Warm and Safe — State Fire Marshal
Alternative heat sources like space heaters can be great for adding an extra layer of warmth on a cold February night in Minnesota — but only if you use those devices safely. Here’s how:
- Plug your space heaters directly into the outlet, not an extension cord.
- Keep heaters three feet away from anything that can burn like the couch, clothing or curtains.
- Turn a space heater off when you leave the room; never leave space heaters unattended.
Prevent Potentially Deadly Careless Smoking Fires — State Fire Marshal
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires in Minnesota. Whether staying with friends or family or stepping outside of a local establishment or hotel to smoke, keep the following in mind:
- Only smoke in designated areas.
- Dispose of materials in designated containers. They should be sturdy and filled with sand or water.
- Don’t toss cigarettes into bushes or potted plants.
Staying in a Hotel or Rental Home? Visiting a Bar? Know How to Get Out — State Fire Marshal
Nobody expects the hotel or rental home they’re staying in or the bar where they are enjoying the big game will start on fire. But it happens. And when it does, quickly getting outside is key. Identify exits and emergency exits when you first walk into an establishment or check into your temporary home away from home. Remember that if there is a fire, the door you came in may not be the safest — or quickest — way out.