Morton police department plans Super Bowl crackdown

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

The Morton Police Department will join other state and local law enforcement officials in reminding drivers to play it safe this Super Bowl Sunday and designate a sober driver before the big game begins.

Officers will be working overtime this year to remind all fans to play it safe on Super Bowl Sunday. If drivers plan on using alcohol before or during the game, they should pass their keys to a sober, designated driver. Do not get penalized for impaired driving.

Super Bowl Sunday has become one of America’s biggest and most entertaining national sporting events as friends and families gather to watch the big game each year and to enjoy the festivities surrounding it. Unfortunately, it has also become one of the most dangerous days of the year on the nation’s roads and highways due to alcohol related traffic crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), impaired drivers with blood alcohol levels of .08 percent and above caused nearly 50 percent of all traffic fatalities during Super Bowl weekend 2008. These serious crashes and deaths can be prevented.

According to Sgt. Shawn Darche of the Morton Police Department, two of the easiest things drivers can do to avoid arrest or serious injury is designate a sober driver before attending Super Bowl festivities and make sure they do not allow friends or relatives to drive drunk.

Other helpful tips for those attending or throwing a Super Bowl party include:

• serve lots of food — particularly foods high in protein and be sure to include beverages that do not contain alcohol

• stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game

• designate a sober driver before the game and give that person your keys-keep the number for a local cab company handy in case the need should arise

• pace yourself — eat, take breaks, have activities that are not centered on alcohol consumption

“Driving or riding with someone who is impaired is not worth the risk and the consequences are real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else but also the financial trauma of a crash or arrest for DUI can be significant,” said Darche. “Believe me, it is not the way you want to spend your Super Bowl Sunday.”

Morton police will conduct hire-back patrols focused on impaired driving and other alcohol related violations through Feb. 14.  The patrols are made possible through a yearlong grant funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety.