SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office is increasing patrols to keep the community safe from drunk and distracted drivers on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2.

Somerset County Sheriff Darrin J. Russo announced that his office is partnering with state and local law enforcement agencies to encourage football fans to choose a designated driver, call a cab or to use a ride sharing service.

“With so many people attending parties at people’s homes, local bars or restaurants to watch the Super Bowl, we want the public to do it safely,” Russo said. “If you are going to drink alcohol, make sure you have a plan in place to ensure that you arrive home safely. That starts with designating a driver, who will not be drinking. By planning ahead, you can protect yourself, your family, friends and other drivers from tragic loss of life on the road.”

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According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunken driving is a serious problem with severe consequences.

 In 2016, 10,497 people were killed in these types of preventable crashes; over a ten-year period between 2006 and 2016, more than 10,000 people died each year as a result of drunken-driving crashes.

Reasons to Plan Ahead:

·   In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

·   If you injure or kill someone in a drunken-driving crash, it’s something that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

·   Drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs and lost wages due to time off from work.

·   The average DUI case costs approximately $10,000.

·   Refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions results in immediate arrest, the loss of your driver’s license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle. Also, there’s the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.

“Impaired driving is completely avoidable by taking time to plan ahead. The decision you make will matter, not just for yourself, but for others as well,” said Sheriff Russo.