State Patrol to be out in force on Super Bowl Sunday looking for drunken drivers

SEATTLE -- During Sunday’s Super Bowl, as the Seahawks take the field, there will be a party atmosphere around the Northwest. But police are warning drivers not to take the party behind the wheel.

During last year's Super Bowl, the Washington State Patrol made 123 drunken driving arrests across the state.

Troopers say this year, once again, they will be out in full force, and will be targeting impaired drivers,  starting Sunday morning and throughout the rest of the day.

"I would love not to arrest anyone for DUI because no one was driving drunk," said State Patrol trooper Mark Francis. "Unfortunately, that’s not reality, and we have to be out there to get these people off the road before someone is seriously injured or killed."

Francis suggests making a plan to get home before going out to watch the game, and even set aside money for a cab.

Some sports bars, like The Hawks Nest near Century Link Field, are hiring extra security to keep an eye out for drunken patrons, and are offering free soda and special deals on food for designated drivers.

Owner Joe Piano plans to dial a cab or Uber for Hawks fans who may have tipped back one too many.

"We make sure we physically see them get into another car and get home," said Piano.

Despite all the warnings, Francis knows that even if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, lots of drivers are going to lose by getting behind the wheel drunk.

"What a way to ruin an awesome win by the Seahawks, by sitting in jail for the remainder of the night. It's just not worth it."