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HPD: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Impaired

February 9, 2022, 6:07 PM HST
* Updated February 9, 10:07 PM
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Keep your head in the game and don’t drive if you’re impaired on Super Bowl Sunday.

With the Big Game slated this weekend, the Hawai‘i Police Department is reminding motorists to follow some simple traffic safety tips provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to a press release from HPD, whether you’re throwing a Super Bowl party or just attending one, now is the time to strategize the most important part of your game plan for the big game: a shutdown defense that prevents impaired driving.

Driving while impaired by any substance — legal or illegal — puts you, your passengers, pedestrians and others on the road in danger.

Here are what HPD says are the keys to the game.

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Know the rules

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It’s illegal everywhere in America to drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines or any potentially impairing drug. Even many legally obtained and common over-the-counter and prescription drugs can affect a user’s ability to drive safely.

Cold and allergy medicines, antidepressants, opioids and sleep aids can cause side effects, including drowsiness, nausea and blurred vision, all of which can put motorists at risk. Read and follow all warning labels before driving, and note that warnings against “operating heavy machinery” include driving a vehicle.

Know the score

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Impaired driving is one of the most significant dangers on Big Island roadways, the HPD release says. In 2021, there were 26 traffic fatalities on Hawai‘i Island, with 21 of those deaths because of impairment from either drugs, alcohol or a combination of both. In 2020, there were 15 fatal crashes around the island with impairment a factor in 12.

Play it safe

Here are a few tips to consider going into the Big Game:

  • Plan a safe and sober ride home ahead of time.
  • If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure all your guests have a sober ride home.
  • If you smoked or ingested an impairing substance, do not drive.
  • If you know someone who is impaired, take their keys and don’t let them get behind the wheel.
  • Call 911 if you see an impaired driver.
  • Always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers and your best defense in any vehicle crash.

These keys to the game will make sure Super Bowl LVI is remembered for a big win rather than a tragic loss of life. And however you or your guests travel on Super Bowl Sunday, always buckle up.

“We hope it’s a great game and that you enjoy it — safely — with friends and family,” the press release says. “Remember: Fans don’t let fans drive impaired.”

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