ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With information from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety-
As football fans all over the country look to Arizona to watch Super Bowl XLIX, law enforcement in Georgia will be looking out for impaired drivers who continue their celebrating behind the wheel.
Willie James Jackson, known as "JJ" in the Albany taxi cab community, is hoping to be busy this Super Bowl Sunday. "In the past years, sometimes after a party it's boom. Then again it's here or there. Taxi is unpredictable," he said.
A taxi is one way to prevent driving drunk. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety is urging fans who may celebrate a little too much to take a taxi or plan ahead and have a designated driver.
"That way it's not so hard when you are already are impaired trying to find someone to come and get you, just already have one lined up, prior planning," said GSP Trooper Dana Harnage.
And troopers will be on the lookout to get drunk drivers off the road. "The troopers who are out working will be looking for impaired drivers and will be paying special attention because it is Super Bowl Sunday," Harnage said.
Many restaurants and bars are also doing their part to help folks who may have had to much to drink.
"We actually pace the guests where they're not getting too over the limit. If they have a little too much we're also here to help them try to find a ride or figure something out," said Jeremy Dykes, Buffalo Wild Wings manager.
Drive Sober, Georgia is an app available for both Apple and Android that can also help.
It lists paid and free sober ride programs in your area, and while it may cost money to take a cab, JJ says it's worth it. "It's cheaper to ride with a Friendly Cab than to ride with APD."
“Just as fans will be choosing sides and rooting for either the Seahawks or Patriots, they should also decide ahead of time whether they'll be drinking or driving,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “All it takes is a little planning. Drink or drive, but never do both.”
GOHS offers the following tips for all those celebrating on Super Bowl Sunday:
If you're attending a party or watching the game at a bar or restaurant:
Designate a sober driver ahead of time. Consider getting a taxi to your destination so you won't be tempted to drive impaired later. When drinking, pace yourself. Eat plenty of food and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks. If you don't have a sober driver designated ahead of time, call a sober friend, hire a taxi or be prepared to take public transportation. Make sure your designated driver is sober and not just less intoxicated than you. Do not walk home after drinking. Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as driving impaired and both carry legal consequences.
If you're hosting a party:
Make sure your guests have sober rides home in advance. Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks. Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter. Have cab company phone numbers on hand and be prepared to take keys away from impaired guests who try to get behind the wheel. Do not serve alcohol to underage partygoers. Remember that party hosts can be held liable if guests leave their home and are involved in an impaired-driving crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired crashes claimed 10,322 lives nationwide in 2012. That's 31 percent of all crash deaths. The .08 BAC limit is the same in all 50 states so no matter where you watch the big game, if you're over the limit you'll be under arrest.
For more information on the dangers of drunk driving, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.