SOMERVILLE, NJ - Somerset County's county’s DWI Enforcement Team will be patrolling the roads on Feb. 3, during Super Bowl Sunday.

While football fans everywhere are enjoying the game, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office will be keeping the community safe by protecting residents from drunk and distracted drivers, according to Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano.

“With help from the community and in partnership with the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers®, we will be enforcing safe and sober driving on Super Bowl Sunday,” Provenzano said.

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Multiple New Jersey agencies will be promoting the designated driver campaign through highway digital message boards, posters hung in participating bars and restaurants. In addition, thousands of car window decals have been distributed as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative that is sponsored by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

“People who will be attending parties at private residences, local bars or restaurants to watch the game, and are planning to drink alcohol should make sure that they designate a driver who will not be drinking,” Provenzano said. “By planning ahead people can protect themselves, their family, friends and other drivers from a tragedy happening on the road.”

Drunk driving is a serious problem with severe consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 people died in drunken driving crashes during a ten-year period between the years of 2006 to 2016. Following are a few more sobering statistics:

- It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher – yet, in 2016 one person was killed every 50 minutes in a drunk driving crash in the United States.

- The average cost of driving while under the influence (DUI) is approximately $10,000.

- Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their drivers’ licenses, higher insurance rates, and unanticipated expenses such as attorneys’ fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.

- Refusing to take a breath-alcohol test may result in an immediate arrest, the loss of your driver’s license at the time you are pulled over and your vehicle may be impounded.

- There are other repercussions such as embarrassment, humiliation, and the consequences of telling family, friends and employers about your arrest.

- If you injure or kill someone in a drunk driving crash, it is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

“Impaired driving is completely preventable,” Provenzano said. “We want the public to remember that it’s a choice to drink responsibly and drive sober. Don’t make a poor choice.”

The HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® seeks to end drunken driving tragedies nationwide by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers and partnering with law enforcement agencies, schools and colleges, bars, taverns and restaurants, the U.S. Navy, professional sports teams, state divisions of highway safety and communities across the country.

For more information about the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers®, visit www.herocampaign.org  or contact Capt. Steve SanAntonio in the Sheriff’s Office at 908-231-7168.