UPDATE, FEB. 3, 4:27 P.M.: According to a release this afternoon from the Anaheim Police Department, that agency and 13 others are taking part in the previously announced countywide law enforcement patrols targeting drunken drivers on Super Bowl Sunday.
That now makes it an "Avoid the 26" operation--meaning 26 law enforcement jurisdictions across the county are participating--at least until the remaining 12 cop shops in Orange County pile on as well.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 3, 12:01 P.M.: As much food will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday as was scarfed on Thanksgiving, and more beer and booze will be downed as there is anytime St. Patrick's Day falls on Kiefer Sutherland's birthday. That has cops who patrol Orange County streets on edge so much that a multi-agency task force will target areas Sunday known for drunken driving arrests and crashes, in concert with regular patrol officers who have been directed to look for signs of boozing motorists.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department-directed "Avoid the 12" DUI Task Force's roving patrols are part of the national "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" message that's being delivered by jointly by the NFL, the California Office of Traffic Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition.
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To that end, "Avoid the 12" is passing along the following tips for Super Bowl party hosts:
• Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers before kickoff or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
• Serve plenty of food.
• Offer a variety of non-alcoholic choices like non-alcohol beers, soft drinks, juice, and water.
• Serve one drink at a time and serve measured drinks.
• Determine ahead of time when you'll stop serving alcohol, such as one hour before the end of the party or at the end of the third quarter of the game (just like NFL stadiums) and begin serving coffee and dessert.
These tips are meant for anyone attending a party or watching the Patriots spank the Giants at a sports bar or restaurant:
• Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
• Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself--eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
• Take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired. Remember, "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk."
• Always buckle up - it's your best defense on the road.