Utah Law Enforcement Agencies’ Game Plan For Super Bowl Sunday: Working DUI Overtime Shifts to Help Keep Utahns Safe
It’s Super Bowl 55, but the radio call that Officers, Deputies and Troopers hope they don’t have to make is “10-55”, that’s the police radio ten-code for a DUI in Utah.
The National Football League’s Super Bowl LV is on Sunday, February 7, 2021, and it’s one of America’s favorite annual celebrations. Whether or not the game goes into overtime, Utah’s law enforcement officers will be working DUI overtime shifts to deter, detect and stop impaired drivers. Whatever your plans for watching the Super Bowl are if they include drinking, make sure they don’t include driving.
Twenty-five different law enforcement agencies will be working more than 75 DUI overtime shifts. Every year, Utah law enforcement increases both DUI prevention education and DUI enforcement for the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, individuals still make the bad call to get behind the wheel after drinking. Over the past 5 years, there have been an average of 40 DUI arrests on Super Bowl Sunday in Utah.
The Utah Highway Patrol and 73 law enforcement agencies throughout Utah recently completed a two-week Winter Holiday DUI enforcement period, arresting 101 impaired drivers. The 101 arrests were a decrease from the 196 arrests during the same enforcement last year. DUI enforcement is conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but increased enforcement accompanies holidays and special events.
Although the way we view sporting events has changed for now, we still want to make sure everyone is safe on Super Bowl Sunday.
Keep reading for tips on how to stay safe this weekend.
Have a Game Plan
If your Super Bowl plans include drinking, make a game plan and follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or a ride service to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Know the Risks
Impaired driving is a serious problem with serious consequences. Don’t ruin your night by becoming another statistic.
- In 2019, there were 10,142 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the U.S., according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- The consequences of drunk driving can be deadly, but they can also be expensive. Drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and many other unanticipated expenses, including attorney’s fees, court costs, and lost wages due to time off from work. The average DUI costs approximately $10,000.
- The BAC limit in Utah is .05. A DUI arrest may result in the suspension of your driver license, impoundment of your vehicle, and jail time. Not to mention the embarrassment of explaining your situation to family, friends, and employers.
The Real MVPs – Designated Drivers
- Take your role as designated driver seriously — people are relying on you. If you’re attending a small gathering, enjoy the food and non-alcoholic drinks. Refrain from any alcoholic beverages or other drugs.
- Always buckle your seat belt and require any passengers to do the same. Don’t start the car until all passengers’ seat belts are buckled.
- If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely. Even if they make a fuss in the moment, they’ll thank you later.
Prepare for a Safe Huddle
If you plan to attend a small gathering outside your home, please comply with COVID-19 guidelines and make sure your evening includes a plan for getting home safely. Follow these safety tips, and you’ll be on your way to your own Super Bowl win.
- You know the rules: It’s illegal to drive drunk. Before you head out to a Super Bowl gathering, make a game plan that includes a sober driver — someone who will not drink at all, and will safely bring you home.
- Make sure your designated driver is actually sober. If he or she decides to drink unexpectedly, call a sober ride.
- Don’t let friends (and fans) drive drunk. If someone has been drinking, help arrange a safe way for them to get home, too.
- When you ride home with your sober driver, make sure you — and your driver — wear your seat belts. It’s your best defense in a crash.
- Remember, walking impaired can also be dangerous. Designate a sober friend to walk home with you.
Remember: Only one team will win the Super Bowl, but if you drive drunk, you may lose money, your reputation, your car, and even your life.
Make the right call – drive sober!
For more information on the dangers of drunk driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
DUI Arrest data from previous Super Bowl Sundays*
2/7/16 – 32
2/5/17 – 35
2/4/18 – 60
2/3/19 – 31
2/2/20 – 43
*Numbers shown are for the 24-hour time period beginning at 6 a.m. on Sunday