Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen
The Los Angeles Police Department will conduct saturation patrols on Super Bowl Sunday. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

The Los Angeles Police Department will conduct four DUI saturation patrols Sunday as part of a nationwide effort to reduce drunken driving on Super Bowl Sunday.

More drinking-related crashes occur in California on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other Sunday in January and February, according to the state Department of Insurance.

There is a 57 percent increased risk of alcohol-related fatal and injury crashes in Los Angeles County on Super Bowl Sunday compared to other Sundays in January and February, according to an Auto Club analysis of California Highway Patrol data from 2009-2013.

Law enforcement agencies are encouraging the public not to drink or drive. Those planning on drinking should leave their keys at home, designate a sober driver, or use a taxi or public transportation.

“Drunken driving is completely preventable,” said LAPD Capt. Phil Fontanetta, the commanding officer of the Emergency Operations Division. “All it takes is a little planning.”

Fontanetta also reminded people taking prescription or over-the-counter medication that drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment effects.

The Auto Club will offer its Tipsy Tow service from 6 p.m. today though 6 a.m. Monday to help remove drinking drivers from the road.

To secure a Tipsy Tow, motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call (800) 400-4AAA for a free tow home of up to seven miles.

Callers simply tell Auto Club operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow” to receive the free tow and ride home.

The service excludes rides for passengers, is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver and the destination is limited to the driver’s residence.

For rides further than seven miles, drivers will be expected to pay the rate charged by the tow provider.

A recent Auto Club report found that 10 percent of motorists admit to driving when they thought their blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.

Tipsy Tow eliminates the most common excuses for this behavior — concern about how to retrieve the car the next day and the cost or inconvenience of using a taxi or public transportation, according to the Auto Club.

The CHP is encouraging the public to call 911 if they suspect a drunken driver. Callers should be prepared to provide the vehicle’s description, license plate number, location and direction of travel.

— City News Service

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