SAN DIEGO (CNS) — People planning to consume alcohol or other recreational drugs on Super Bowl Sunday would be well-advised to avoid getting behind the wheel, as state and local law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for impaired drivers.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department will conduct a saturation patrol operation from 3 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday. The Kansas City Chiefs will meet the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at 3:30 p.m. to determine this season's NFL champion.
In 2023, 6,671 people were arrested for impaired driving by law enforcement agencies in San Diego County, department officials said. The Sheriff's Department made 1,090 of those arrests.
During Super Bowl Sunday 2023, 33 people were arrested for impaired driving countywide, according to the department. Three of those arrests were made by sheriff's deputies.
Department officials advised motorists that DUI violations also apply to people under the influence of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana -- especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
The Sheriff's Department offered these tips for a safe Super Bowl Sunday:
-- Plan Ahead: Designate a sober driver or arrange for alternative transportation before the game begins.
-- Leave Your Keys: If you plan on drinking, don't drive. Leave your car keys at home and arrange for a sober ride.
-- Utilize Safe Transportation: There are plenty of safe alternatives to driving impaired including taxis, ridesharing services such as Lyft or Uber, sober friends or relatives who agree to be designated drivers and public transportation. You might also consider volunteering to be the designated driver.
-- Consider Alcohol Alternatives: Offering non-alcoholic beverages is a good option for your Super Bowl gathering. There are plenty of delicious mocktails and alcohol-free options available.
-- End Drinking Early: Stop serving alcohol before the end of the game's third quarter.
-- Be On The Lookout: If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The California Highway Patrol will also step up enforcement efforts to nab DUI suspects.
Under state law, anyone with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher is considered impaired. First-time DUI offenders could face a penalty of $13,500 in fines and a suspended license.
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