The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is reminding residents to have a game plan in place for Super Bowl Sunday if their plans involve alcohol.
The sheriff’s department is encouraging people to select a sober driver if they plan on drinking or make the choice to stay sober if they plan on driving themselves home.
The ‘Avoid the 12' — Stanislaus County DUI Task Force — will be deploying three Roving DUI Saturations Patrols during and following Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup. Officers will deploy into communities where collision data reveals high incidents of DUI crashes and arrests.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking.
According to 2014 data, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States, accounting for 31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation, with crashes spiking on the weekends. California’s 2014 data reveals that 882 individuals were killed in DUI crashes.
A driver is legally considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The use of drugs and other factors can lead to arrest or crashes at much lower alcohol levels.
“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy Patrick McCulloch. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive — but never do both.”
Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter — drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
AAA estimates that a first-time misdemeanor DUI conviction in California can cost approximately $15,649 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs. DUI-related costs have risen sharply in recent years largely due to steep increases in fines and insurance for DUI drivers. The estimated cost of a first-offense misdemeanor DUI for those under age 21 is $21,500.
For those who plan to drink, leave the vehicle keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share or public transportation. The California Office of Traffic Safety mobile app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb — all from one screen.
AAA will offer free tows to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to 10 miles. Just tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be on its way.
The service will provide a one-way ride for drivers and their vehicle to the driver’s home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver’s home as long as long as they can be transported safely in the tow truck. Tipsy Tow does not take reservations.