Reston, VA

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police say DWI patrols will be “out in full force this weekend” as residents prepare for the Super Bowl, which has become something of a national drinking holiday.

“The Super Bowl is America’s most popular sporting event,” police said in a release. “Game day parties can be epic events with football, great food, lots of friends, and typically, alcohol. Unfortunately, adding alcoholic beverages in the mix makes this weekend historically dangerous.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says in 2012, 43 percent of all traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday were caused by drunk driving.

In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States. Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation.

BACtrack, a company that makes smart phone-enabled breathalyzers, says that in 2014, its users recorded an average Blood Alcohol Content of .091 percent on Super Bowl Sunday. The legal BAC limit in Virginia is .08 percent.

From the FCPD:

What’s your game plan this weekend? Are you drinking OR are you driving? Doing both is simply not an option. Driving while intoxicated is illegal, dangerous and costly but easily preventable.  Some basic planning can keep you and other drivers safe this weekend, or any weekend.  If you plan to drink, plan not to drive:

  • Designate a sober driver.
  • Arrange for a taxi.
  • Plan to stay overnight at a friend’s home.

If you are hosting a party, here are some helpful tips:

  • Offer non-alcoholic drinks in addition to beer.
  • Serve plenty of food. A full stomach can slow the rate of alcohol absorption.
  • Stop serving alcohol an hour or two before the party ends.
  • Arrange alternate transportation for your intoxicated guests.
  • Never serve minors alcohol.

Protect yourself from drunk drivers on the road by knowing how to spot one. An impaired driver may:

  • Weave, swerve or straddle the center line.
  • Drive on the wrong side of the road.
  • Drive at a very slow speed.
  • Stop or brake for no reason.
  • Have an extremely slow response to traffic conditions or signals.
  • Drive without headlights at night.
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