Ontario County police agencies to participate in enforcement effort to crack down on impaired driving over Super Bowl weekend

It’s a big weekend for football — and a big weekend for drinking. 

With the goal of preventing alcohol-related accidents this Super Bowl weekend, Ontario County STOP-DWI Administrator Sue Cirencione said that there will be an increase in drunk-driving police patrols on area roadways.

The DWI crackdown, part of a statewide STOP-DWI enforcement campaign, is slated to run from Feb. 4 to 4 a.m. Feb. 6. The campaign will include an increased number of specially trained officers who will be patrolling highways and streets during the weekend, according to Cirencione. There will also be an increase in sobriety checkpoints.

“Hopefully our message will prevent people from taking the risk and putting themselves and others at risk of injury and/or death,” Cirencione said. “We encourage people to have a plan so that they enjoy the Super Bowl but also stay safe.” 

During the same 2016 enforcement campaign, state police arrested 92 people for impaired driving and issued more than 4,686 total tickets statewide, Cirencione said. Also, other local law enforcement agencies reported a total of 103 DWI and driving while ability impaired arrests statewide, with a total of 1,341 total tickets being issued. 

The campaign was developed since Super Bowl weekend is historically a deadly period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The administration reported that 45 people were killed nationwide in incidents of drunk driving in the hours following the Super Bowl in 2015.

In addition to law enforcement being beefed up, technology combating the potential roadway tragedies has been developed. Among the tech: the creation of a high-tech potato chip bag — the Party Safe Bag — that offers more than a snack. According to its creator, the Tostitos bag also has the ability to tell you that you’ve had too much to drink. 

The technology was developed through Frito-Lay’s, which worked with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, a San Francisco-based advertising company, as well as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber, an online transportation network.  

According to the Goodby Silverstein & Partners website, the chip bags contain a sensor that has the ability to detect small traces of alcohol on a person’s breath. If no alcohol is detected, LED lights on the front of the bag light up green. 

When even a small trace of alcohol is detected, the LED lights turn red and form a steering wheel and a message stating, “Don’t drink and drive.” The front also displays an Uber code that allows the bag holder to get a discounted Uber ride. People can then call Uber by tapping the Tostitos bag with their cellphones, according to the website.

Frito-Lay’s won’t be selling the bags, though, with a total of 25,000 Party Safe bags distributed nationwide. 

A more accessible piece of technology has been made available to all those living in New York. 

With the big game rapidly approaching, STOP-DWI and the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee announced the release of the “Have A Plan” mobile application. The app offers the user the ability to locate and call a taxi service, as well as a program allowing the user to develop a designated-driver list. 

The application additionally provides information on how blood alcohol content levels get to where they are based on drink volume, along with information on DWI laws and penalties. Through the app, the user can also report potentially impaired drivers they might encounter while traveling on the road.  

The app can be accessed at www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp.