CINCINNATI -- A “blitz” has been launched by state law enforcement agencies in Ohio and Kentucky in an effort to cut down on drunk drivers this Super Bowl weekend.
In Ohio, several agencies have received a Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant from the state to provide additional patrols throughout this year. The units will typically patrol around holidays to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries as a result of dangerous driving.
Sgt. Scott Bierer with the OHP said the one or two extra troopers have been added to each patrol shift because Super Bowl weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for impaired driving and other traffic incidents.
The additional patrol units are being used to enforce traffic violations from noon Jan. 30 through midnight Feb. 4, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. Deputies will focus on the enforcement of speed, seat belt use and driving while intoxicated offenses.
“We have more units out on the roadways looking for impaired drivers and suspicious activity,” said Bierer, who works at the Lebanon Post of the OHP. “We’ll be visible.”
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office, which also received the grant, has 60 hours to use during its blitz period. Deputies have been on the roads since Tuesday.
Across the Ohio River in Kentucky, the state police will be out on patrol but they’re also attempting to be proactive by voicing a playful, football-inspired message to motorists.
The “fans don’t let fans drive drunk” campaign is intended as a reminder to be careful and make wise decisions when out at parties or sports bars Sunday.
While Bierer said he knows the Big Game is all fun and games, he wanted to reiterate that being caught driving while intoxicated is serious business.
"(If you get caught), you may get an OVI -- you're looking at a lot of fines, possible jail time, a suspended driver’s license,” he reminded drivers. “Heaven forbid hope there's a crash involved."
Bierer said the best way to handle situation is to make plans before going out.
"We just ask everyone to make their plans before they go out for a designated driver," he said.
The trooper also reminded motorists to call 911 if they notice anyone driving erratically.