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Ravenna – Portage County Safe Communities, law enforcement, and local businesses are partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk during the Super Bowl LII game and celebrations.

Law Enforcement will be aggressively enforcing traffic laws and cracking down on drunk driving to reduce preventable crashes, injuries, and deaths.

In all 50 states, drivers are legally impaired if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Yet, according to NHTSA, approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher. In 2016, there were 10,497 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average over the 10-year period from 2006-2016, more than 10,000 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes.

With a BAC of .08, muscle coordination can become poor and affect balance, speech, vision, and reaction time causing judgement, self-control, reasoning, and memory impairment. The ability to concentrate and process capabilities are reduced and result in the inability to control speed, signal detection and accurate perception.

However, you can be impaired with a BAC lower than .08. In 2016, there were 2,017 people killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels. A BAC of .02 can cause a decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target) and reduce the ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention).

During the Super Bowl weekend, Safe Communities urges everyone to plan ahead for a sober designated driver or download NHTSA’s Safer Ride mobile app which helps you identify your location and calls a taxi or friend to drive you home. If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Also, do not hesitate to call #677 to report aggressive or impaired drivers; making the call could save a life.

Safe Communities is a program of Portage County Health District.