DUI Patrols Out in Force on Super Bowl Sunday: Football Fans Urged to Enlist Designated Drivers

California logged more than 800 DUI deaths in 2012

In an effort to combat post-Super Bowl peril on LA's streets and freeways, a coalition of law enforcement agencies is aggressively patrolling for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

As the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos storm the gridiron for the National Football League’s 48th Super Bowl -- and as viewer parties with excited fans kick off -- law enforcement officials are encouraging fans to enlist designated drivers.

The California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have teamed up with the Los Angeles County Avoid the 100 DUI Task Force campaign to spread driver-safety awareness and curtail driving under the influence (DUI).

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The coalition is deploying a slew of DUI saturation patrols across the county before, during and after the game:

  • Central Bureau Area, Sunday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • West Valley Area, Sunday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • 77th Street Area, Sunday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Hollywood Area, Sunday, 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Patrol officers will be on the look-out for tell-tale signs of inebriated drivers.

"For football fans, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year," Glendora Police
Chief Tim Staab said.

"Have a great time, but please don't allow the celebration to result in a drunk-driving arrest,” he said. “Act responsibly, designate a sober driver before the Super Bowl party begins and leave your car keys at home."

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The Super Bowl, one of the sports world’s most momentous television events, raked in more than 108 million viewers in 2013, according to Nielsen Co. data.

Officials are aware of the game’s allure, but want fans to celebrate safely in their respective homes, bars and restaurants, citing statistics from past years to bolster the coalition’s message.

California logged 802 deaths in DUI crashes, all of which were 31 percent more likely to occur on weekends than on weekdays, according to 2012 data released by the Glendale Police Department.

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And nationally, in 2012, 10,322 people died because of alcohol-impaired-driving, police said.

"A taxi cab may cost you $30,” one law enforcement official said. "But that's nothing compared to the $10,000 or more in fees, fines, and the stigma that can stem from getting a DUI."

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