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Police Throwing A Flag On Drunken Drivers This Super Bowl Weekend

DETROIT (WWJ) - Michigan State Police are reminding motorists to make the right call by designating a sober driver before kick off if their Super Bowl celebration includes alcohol.

Police say those who choose to drive drunk after watching the big game on Sunday could face serious penalties, as nearly 70 law enforcement agencies are participating in a drunk driving crackdown that starts Friday.

"If you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested," Michael Prince, director of the Office of Highway Safety Planning, said in a statement. "Michigan law enforcement officers don't play games when it comes to drunk drivers so make the right call and pass the keys to a sober driver."

Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, 166 people were arrested in Michigan for drunk driving, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. Fifty-two of those arrested had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher. Two people died in traffic crashes that day and both crashes involved alcohol.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer feels they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties for a first-time conviction with a .17 BAC or higher.

Law enforcement officers in the following 20 counties will work extra enforcement targeting impaired drivers all weekend: Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Genesee, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne.

Police offer these tips for hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Make sure guests designate sober drivers before kick off
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter and offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverage options
  • If attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a bar or restaurant, designate a sober driver before the party begins
  • Program numbers for local cab companies or ride services in your cell phone
  • Always buckle up, it's your best defense against impaired drivers
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