Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drinking And Driving, Not Super

Super Bowl Sunday is another opportunity to get together and celebrate with friends and family. However, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants to make sure your game plan includes designating a non-drinking driver before the big game.

On Super Bowl Sunday 2008, 12 people were killed in alcohol-involved collisions - three times the daily average in California. These deaths were in addition to the 167 people injured in alcohol-related crashes throughout the state.

"We're not discouraging the celebration," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "We're asking fans to make the right call, so they won't find themselves benched in a jail cell."

CHP officers statewide arrested 403 motorists for driving under the influence (DUI) on Super Bowl Sunday last year.

This year the CHP, along with police and sheriff's departments, will be deploying special DUI patrols through the Avoid Campaign across the state to lower alcohol-involved deaths and injuries.

Law enforcement invites the public to help by calling 911 to report a suspected drunk driver. Callers should be prepared to provide dispatchers with a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.

"A DUI is no 5-yard penalty," Commissioner Farrow warned. "It's something that will follow you around for years to come."

In addition to designating a driver, the CHP encourages motorists to wear a seat belt and comply with the speed limit.

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