RIVERSIDE – Super Bowl celebrants who drink and drive will be targeted in a law enforcement crackdown today aimed at keeping drunk- and drug- impaired motorists off Riverside County roads.
The county’s Avoid the 30 task force — named for the number of participating agencies — is planning saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to snare inebriated drivers before, during and after the NFL championship game, according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator.
”Motorists can expect all police officers, sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol to have a visible presence and to stop anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive,” Showalter said.
Today’s operations are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Football League’s ”Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign.
Showalter said anti-DUI saturation patrols are scheduled in a variety of locations, while sobriety checkpoints will be deployed in Riverside and San Jacinto.
Law enforcement officials offered the following tips to people planning to host Super Bowl parties:
— Ensure guests have a designated driver or can arrange for ride-sharing;
— serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party;
— stop serving alcohol before the end of the game’s third quarter; and
— take the keys away from guests showing obvious signs of drunkenness and call them a cab if necessary.
On Super Bowl Sunday night 2010, then-Riverside police Chief Russ Leach ran a red light and crashed his city-owned vehicle, driving on the rims for several miles, while intoxicated. He resigned days later and eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI, resulting in his being sentenced to home detention and probation.