Super Bowl weekend is officially here, but while many people may be counting down to the game, authorities are counting on people to avoid drinking and driving. YNN's Natalia Martinez says police are ready to take those breaking the law straight to jail.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — According to New York State Police, more than 17,000 people die because of a drunk driver every year. That's one death every 30 minutes.
"People are being hurt, are being killed. We're having fatals everyday," New York State Police Trooper Jeffrey A. Bebak told YNN.
This Super Bowl weekend, officials aren't giving anyone a pass. In Erie County, 15 police agencies will be out looking for those who drank too much to drive. There are several DWI checkpoints planned for Sunday.
"We're out in full effect. We're just trying to get the message out to everyone. It's just unfortunate that people are making a bad decision to go out and drink and drive," Bebak said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a campaign complete with posters asking people to "be a team player." It includes the slogan, "Fans don't let fans drive drunk."
But Bebak says it's not only the partiers that need to be mindful.
"If you're hosting the party, be the smart one, stay sober and make sure your guests get to where they've got to go safely, whether it's a designated driver or you have to call a cab," he explained.
The cab fare can be a small price to pay compared to the danger and the legal fees.
According to Erie County officials, the average cost of a DWI conviction in New York state is almost $10,000.
This Super Bowl weekend, officials are urging people to think of their designated driver more like their quarterback.