Reducing DUI Risks
While most people spent their weekend preparing for game day, Tennessee law enforcement were out on the roads to help keep the risks down. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Super Bowl weekend ranks as one of the most dangerous times to drive because of the risk of encountering a drunk driver. During the weekend, high visibility patrols were conducted in partnership with the Tennessee Highway Safety Council’s “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign. The Council provided an overtime funding grant for Johnson City to give them more resources they could use so they could conduct DUI enforcement patrols during the busy weekend. Over the last several years, Super Bowl weekends have had higher enforcement. This has resulted in a total of 19 DUI arrests since 2014.
John Schroer, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) commissioner explained, “The chances of you, or someone you love, being in a drunk driving crash increases over the weekend and even more over a holiday weekend. Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them and it always happens to somebody. Don’t be that somebody.”
How Big is the Problem?
Drunk driving across the United States has been a major issue that has been difficult to tackle, and the results of driving under the influence of alcohol (or drugs, for that matter) are often devastating. In 2015, six people were killed during Super Bowl weekend in the state of Tennessee… and five of them were alcohol-related. BACtrack, a company that developed smartphone-enabled breathalyzers has identified that the number of drivers charged with a DUI on Super Bowl weekend over the last few years is similar to the number of people arrested on the more traditional drinking holidays such as Cinco de Mayo, St. Patricks Day and New Years Eve.
To all of the officers that were out protecting our roads and to all of the people who made the active decision not to drink and drive, thank you. You are the ones who are actively keeping yourself, your family and your neighbors safe.