Deputies in Highland plan to take part in special roving DUI patrols on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, a sheriff's sergeant said.
Their efforts will focus on gameday drunk drivers and drugged drivers, according to Sgt. Maggie Finneran of the sheriff's Highland Station.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is a key part of a county-wide Avoid the 25 DUI Task Force, along with the California Highway Patrol and various police agencies.
"Before choosing to drink, choose a sober designated driver," Finneran said in a statement. "Drunk driving is always preventable, and driving drunk could result in seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else."
Super Bowl XLVII, San Francisco versus Baltimore, kicks off in New Orleans at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time on CBS.
According to the Sheriff's department, the California Office of Traffic Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Football League and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management are helping promote the Avoid the 25 - San Bernardino County DUI Task Force.
The mantra for Super Bowl Sunday is Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
If you're attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant, the Sheriff's Department offers some advice:
• Designate your sober driver before the party begins.
• Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
• 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 if possible stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
• Use your community’s sober ride program or enter www.ruok2drive.com in your smartphone’s browser for the OTS Cab Finder.
• Never let friends drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
• Always buckle up. It’s still your best defense against other drunk drivers.
If you're hosting a Super Bowl party, the Sheriff's Department offers more specific pointers:
• Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
• Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
• Host your party just like they do at the stadium. Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert.
• Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
• Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
• If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent may be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
• Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to, or host a party where alcohol is available to, those under age 21 could face jail time.
"We want everyone to make the right decision on Super Bowl Sunday," Chris Murphy, state Office of Traffic Safety director, said in a statement. "Game planning a sober driver is the best bet possible. It’s everyone’s call to make this year’s Super Bowl Sunday safe."
Avoid DUI Patrols are funded by the Office of Traffic Safety, where officials remind everyone, "Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1."