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February 5, 2010 at 12:11 PM

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A reminder to drivers: Keep Super Sunday safe

Posted by John de Leon

Planning to party on Super Bowl Sunday? Area law enforcement officials are urging football fans to exercise caution when driving to and from gatherings to view the Indianapolis Colts take on the New Orleans Saints.

In King County, the State Patrol will have an extra 22 troopers on the road for watch for impaired drivers.

"Last year, troopers apprehended 34 DUIs and we were happy to report that there were no fatality collisions on King County highways during Super Bowl weekend," State Patrol Capt. Steve Burns said in a news release. "We are hoping for the same outcome this year."

Snohomish County's DUI & Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force, which is teaming up with the NFL and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote safe driving this weekend, offers the following tips:

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

-- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
-- Make sure all of your guests designate sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
-- Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
-- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
-- Keep phone numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:

-- Designate a sober driver before the party begins and leave your car keys at home.
-- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself - eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
-- If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or stay where you are until you are sober.
-- Never let a friend get behind the wheel of their vehicle if you think they are about to drive while impaired.
-- Always buckle up - it's still your best defense against other impaired drivers.

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