Ohio law enforcement issues OVI warnings to Super Bowl watchers

| Feb 5, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

Although the pro football season looked very different this year, many fans are nonetheless excited to watch the Super Bowl this weekend. In light of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies are urging fans to forego traditions like Super Bowl parties and watching in sports bars in favor of a socially distanced viewing in their own homes.

These are not enforceable mandates; they are public health suggestions. As such, there is a good chance that at least some Super Bowl watchers will ignore this advice. But one mandate will be enforced heavily this weekend: laws against drunk driving. As they do every year, local and state law enforcement agencies will be greatly increasing OVI patrols and other measures throughout Super Bowl weekend.

According to news sources, normally off-duty officers in the Ohio State Patrol are being offered twice their normal pay to work this weekend, meaning there will likely be significantly more OSP vehicles on state roads and highways. This is in addition to increased patrol efforts being made locally throughout the state.

If you will be celebrating away from home this weekend, the best way to keep yourself and others safe is to either avoid/moderate drinking or find alternative transportation home from a sober driver. This could be a designated driver, a cab, ridesharing service, or public transportation.

In 2019, law enforcement agencies made 62 OVI arrests in a 24-hour period starting at 6:00 a.m. Super Bowl Sunday. Additionally, six alcohol-related crashes resulted in seven deaths statewide. These statistics are a reminder that driving on Sunday could be dangerous even if you haven’t been drinking, so please plan accordingly.

During any period of increased enforcement, officers are eager to initiate traffic stops and make arrests for OVI. Because of this, it is more than possible for mistakes to be made and for drivers to either be mistakenly charged or unfairly overcharged. If you find yourself facing such circumstances come Monday morning, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as reasonably possible.