Super Bowl Sunday revelers are being urged to plan how they’re getting home and avoid driving after getting drunk.
Several Sonoma County law enforcement agencies said they would put extra patrols on the streets that will be keeping watch for intoxicated drivers. These patrol officers will solely be looking to make DUI arrests, working separately from other officers responding to calls for service and other routine work.
During Super Bowl 2012, impaired drivers were involved in nearly 225 collisions statewide, according to the most recent statistics available from the CHP. Eight of those crashes resulted in someone’s death and people suffered injuries in 79 crashes. CHP officers arrested 422 people on suspicion of DUI charges.
It was not immediately clear how those numbers compare to a typical Sunday.
The Santa Rosa-area CHP, Santa Rosa and Petaluma police departments will be placing more officers on the street Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots face off for the NFL Super Bowl XLIX.
The cost of placing extra officers on the streets is supported by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administered by California’s Office of Traffic Safety. The program supports a variety of DUI enforcement projects, including focused patrols on holidays and special occasions.
CHP Officer Jon Sloat urged people to report impaired drivers by calling 911. Callers should be prepared to give the location, direction of travel, vehicle description and a license plate number and details about driver behavior.
— By Julie Johnson