“Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk”

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When the Pittsburg Steelers and Green Bay Packers take to the field this weekend in search of Super Bowl glory, Checkpoint Strikeforce will take to Delaware roads in search of impaired drivers.  Several DUI checkpoints in Wilmington along with statewide DUI saturation patrols are scheduled for the night of the big game. 
Super Bowl Sunday is one of America’s biggest national sporting events where friends and families gather to socialize and watch the big game. Yet, it can also be a very dangerous day on the roadways due to impaired driving.
To prevent senseless loss of life on First State roads due to impaired drivers this weekend, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety is implementing a comprehensive strategy which includes enforcement of Delaware’s impaired driving law and awareness to promote the use of designated drivers.
“We want everyone to remember that wherever you are watching the Super Bowl, if you plan on consuming alcohol, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the big game begins. If you drink, don’t drive,” said Jana Simpler, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS).  “And for those who don’t make the responsible decision to use a designated driver, we’ll have a coordinated, statewide law enforcement presence to prevent you from threatening innocent lives.”
On Superbowl Sunday the New Castle County DUI Task Force will conduct several sobriety checkpoints from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. in Wilmington, while the Delaware State Police and fifteen (15) other local police agencies will operate DUI saturation patrols throughout the state.  In 2009 there were twenty one (21) individuals arrested for DUI on Super Bowl Sunday during OHS supported enforcement initiatives.
 Penalties for a first time DUI conviction include loss of your license, possible jail time from 60 days to 6 months, $500 to $1,500 in fines, and mandatory participation in an alcohol education and/or treatment program.  The approximate cost for a first time DUI including court, DMV, treatment and legal fees is $3,400.00.  Subsequent DUI convictions include mandatory jail time and higher fines.
OHS offers the following tips to help you have a safe Super Bowl weekend.   If you’re going out to a bar or party, designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.  Once out, if you’ve been drinking alcohol, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. Ask a sober friend for a ride home.  Call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you, or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.  Finally, remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.
            If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, serve lots of high protein food and be sure to include lots of non-alcoholic beverages.  Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game – and begin serving coffee and dessert.  Be sure all of your guests designate their drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.  Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.