THP huddles up against drunk driving Super Bowl weekend

JACKSON, Tenn. — Super Bowl Sunday; one of the biggest days of the year for some football fans, but Tennessee Highway Patrol representatives say it’s a big day for them too.

“From Memphis to Fall Branch, troopers are out working. Unfortunately this is a big day for us,” said Lt. Brad Wilbanks of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

No matter where you go to watch the game, the last place you want to end your night, is in the back of a patrol car.

“If you plan on drinking, have a Plan B. Give somebody else the keys. Have a designated driver,” Lt. Wilbanks said. “Have someone you can call. Call a wrecker. Call a cab. Call anyone.”

Troopers remind drivers that they’ll be out there.

“We do what we do always, and that includes line patrol, DUI saturation, those types of things,” said Lt. Wilbanks, “but traditionally I’ve seen that impaired drivers have a way of finding us.”

And that one decision and one second can change your entire life.

“Obviously going to jail for DUI, that’s bad enough. That’s bad. By the time it’s all over, said and done, you lose your license; I mean, the monies, the penalties, the fines, jail,” Lt. Wilbanks said. “That’s terrible, but if you hurt someone else, that amplifies it ten fold.”

Officials say they’re not trying to scare you from having a good time, but when it comes to crashes and fatalities, the magic number is zero.

“Just be smart. Have fun. We want you to have fun. We have fun, but be smart about it. Do the smart thing. Do the right thing,” officials say.

Lt. Wilbanks also reminds drivers to buckle up, as a seat belt is your best defense against a potential drunk driver if you were to cross one.

Troopers also remind drivers to resist distracted driving.