The Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agencies will conduct extra patrols Sunday to search for impaired drivers in connection with Super Bowl LV.
The LAPD announced it will conduct a DUI saturation patrol from 5 p.m.- 1 a.m in the Van Nuys area and operate a DUI checkpoint from 6-11 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles.
“If you are watching the game at home and plan to have a drink or two, stay at home,” said Cmdr. Gerald Woodyard, the commanding officer of the LAPD's Traffic Group. “Have a family member who hasn't been drinking go out on your behalf or have your food delivered.” California Highway Patrol officers will be on high alert for impaired drivers, Commissioner Amanda Ray said.
Ray encouraged the public to call 9-1-1 if they suspect an impaired driver. Callers should be prepared to give the vehicle's description, location, license plate number and direction of travel.
According to preliminary data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, four people died in alcohol-involved collisions in California on Super Bowl Sunday in 2020 and 120 people were injured. The CHP made more than 300 arrests for suspicion of DUI, Ray said.
Alcohol is not the only thing that could impair a motorist and lead to an arrest, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Robert Hill said. “Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana may affect your ability to drive safely,” Hill said. “Do your research and understand how a drug affects you before deciding whether or not you are OK to drive.”
California's public health guidelines advise minimizing contact with people you don't live with in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, Hill said. “Although many watch parties will be virtual this year, it's important to plan ahead, designate a sober driver or simply stay at home for the night,” Hill said.
Patricia Rillera, Mothers Against Drunk Driving's California executive director, asked those watching the game to “make the choice to put a non- drinking, sober driver at the top of your Super Bowl checklist.”
“Even though celebrations will look a little different this year, we all know that many socially distanced gatherings will still involve alcohol, and in some cases, other drugs,” Rillera said. “So let's be proactive, and get the message out to ensure that our loved ones make it home safe and sound.”