Several Tennessee agencies issued a joint press release today to remind football fans not to drink and drive during Super Bowl weekend. They said law enforcement will be working overtime to crack down on drunk drivers and that they will conduct "no refusal" checkpoints throughout the state.
One sobriety checkpoint is scheduled for Knoxville, but it is not a "no refusal" checkpoint. The Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security said it will be conducted late tonight at Concord Road and State Route 332 (S. Northshore Drive). A full list of checkpoints is available here.
"We want everyone to enjoy Super Bowl weekend, but more importantly, we want everyone to be safe," said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. "Making responsible decisions could save your life or the life of someone else. If you choose to drink and drive this weekend, there’s a very good chance you’ll be caught."
The Tenn. Department of Transportation, Governor's Highway Safety Office, and Department of Safety and Homeland Security said that almost 10,000 Titans fans promised to be the designated driver for friends and family during the 2012 season. They are among 250,000 NFL fans in the "designated driver program" which is described as a "collaboration among all 32 NFL teams, 31 stadiums, concessionaires, beer distributors and brewers, broadcasters, law enforcement agencies, and traffic safety experts."
Tennessee Titans Executive Vice President of Administration and Facilities Don MacLachlan said, "We’re proud of our fans' dedication to responsible behavior this season and we want all football fans to follow their leadership this weekend. Handing your keys to a sober driver or taking a cab will always make you a winner."
Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin said: "One of the main priorities of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is to ensure Tennesseans are safe and secure on our roadways. Super Bowl Sunday is no exception. We value our partnership with TDOT, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the Tennessee Titans. These partnerships are essential to our overall success of traffic safety education and enforcement this Super Bowl weekend. We want everyone to be responsible, don’t drink and drive, obey the laws, and enjoy the game."
Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott said: "This will be the first Super Bowl weekend that we have conducted a “No Refusal” DUI enforcement. Last year, state troopers removed 80 drunk drivers from state roadways during Super Bowl weekend. We’re hopeful that this 'No Refusal' enforcement, coupled with our checkpoints and roving patrols, motorists will think twice before drinking and driving."
According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, two people were killed in alcohol related crashes on state roadways during last year’s Super Bowl weekend.