PORTLAND – Partiers heading onto the roads after watching the big game can make Super Bowl Sunday one of the most dangerous nights of the year for drivers. In response, local police ramped up their DUII patrols to try and stop drunk driving before any tragedies occurred.
“Super Bowl is generally one of the top nights to find impaired drivers,” said Deputy Josh Wilson of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Across the nation, about 48 percent of traffic fatalities on the day of the Super Bowl involve a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
In Oregon, troopers reported 43 DUII arrests, up from 31 the previous year during Super Bowl weekend. There were no deadly traffic crashes this year.
On Sunday, KGW joined Wilson for a DUII patrol ride along.
“Pretty much, my sole purpose tonight is to be out and making sure that people are driving safely,” Wilson said. “I expect it to be a pretty busy night.”
Soon after Wilson hit the road, he pulled over a woman who was driving erratically.
“How much marijuana is in the car?” Wilson asked the woman. She said there was none. “I can smell it,” Wilson said. He also found an open bottle of liquor inside the car.
The woman then took a sobriety test, which she failed. She was arrested for DUII.
“Even with all the public service announcements that go out there, people still unfortunately make poor decisions and I’m always busy,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, if you are driving alone and see a DUII driver, you can legally use your cell phone to report the incident because it’s an emergency situation.