Police patrolling for drunken drivers Saturday, Super Bowl Sunday: 'Fans don't let fans drive drunk'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Super Bowl is one of America's most highly anticipated sports events, when friends and family gather in homes, bars and restaurants to celebrate.

As game day approaches and football fans across the country prepare for the game, the National Football League (NFL) the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have joined forces with the Kern County Avoid the 18 DUI Task Force to spread the message about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday, because – Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

Nationally in 2012, alcohol-impaired-driving crashes took 10,322 lives. Californians witnessed 802 deaths in DUI crashes on their streets and highways. These crashes were 31 percent more likely to occur on weekends than on weekdays.

The Kern County Avoid the 18 Coalition will be deploying special DUI Saturation Patrols in communities around the county. Every regularly scheduled patrol officer working will be watching for the tell-tale signs of impaired driving before, during and after the game.

Whether watching at a bar or hosting a party, the NFL, the Office of Traffic Safety, NHTSA, and the Kern County Avoid DUI Task Force reminds everyone that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Before choosing to drink, choose your team's MVP – a sober designated driver.

The Avoid DUI Task Force offers these additional safety tips:

If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant

  • Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins
  • If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay for the night
  • Use your community's sober ride program
  • And remember, your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver in a crash

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party

  • Make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely
  • Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink

Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink. Stay connected with OTS via: http://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS , http://twitter.com/#!/OTS_CA , www.ots.ca.gov

Avoid the 18 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reminds everyone to "Report Drunk Drivers! Call 9-1-1.‟

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