DUI's climb during Super Bowl - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DUI's climb during Super Bowl

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Georgia law enforcers warn that Super Bowl Weekend is one of the more dangerous on the roads because of impaired drivers. Georgia State Patrol Troopers and South Georgia police will be out in force, to sack football fans who drive drunk.

Even veteran troopers and officers say they were surprised at the large number of people they arrested for DUI last night during road checks at several locations in Albany. And they say they worry it could be the start of a busy and dangerous weekend on the roads.

At least 15 people were charged with driving under the influence last night in road checks in Dougherty County. Many were made on rural roads.

Georgia State Patrol Post Commander Sgt. First Class Shawn Urquhart said, "I guess a lot of people coming from town living out that way had been partaking of alcohol beverages that night. That was a little shocking to me."

Dougherty County Police Captain Thomas Jackson said "For a Thursday night in Albany, we had quite a number of DUI's."

 And officers say this could just be the start of a big party weekend leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl. Drunk driving is involved in nearly one third of all the fatal crashes in the United States. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says on the weekend, the likelihood that a driver involved in a fatal crash is impaired by alcohol is almost twice as high than on the weekday. Super Bowl Sunday means parties to watch the game, and often drinking. Cops say that's great, just don't get behind the wheel going home, because they will be out in force.

Urquhart said, "We are going to be out there. We're going to have troopers out enforcing the roads. Patrolling the highways looking for impaired drivers also this weekend."

Jackson said, "If we run across you and you've consumed too much to drink, you are going to be arrested. You are going to have your vehicle towed. You are going to the jail and spend the night there."

 Troopers and cops urge you to enjoy the game, but get a designated driver or call a cab. That way you make it home a winner after the big game. @

Cops warn that a DUI is a very expensive arrest, and will cost you at least thousands of dollars as well as your license. But of course the biggest cost is that drunk driving kills lots of people every year. Hosts of parties are also liable for guests who leave their home after drinking too much.

So cops are urging party hosts to take their guest's keys if someone has had too much, and make sure they get home safely.

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