The Cookeville Police Department will partner with The Tennessee Highway Safety Office to perform saturation patrols throughout the Super Bowl.
Lieutenant Anthony Leonard said extra officers will be on the streets watching closely for drivers showing any signs that they are impaired. He said drunk driving is common year-round, but can be particularly common around big events.
“To win a Super Bowl, you’ve got to have a good gameplan,” Leonard said. “To watch a Super Bowl, you should have a gameplan as well. And that gameplan would be having a sober driver, planning on drinking in moderation, and not driving if you consume alcohol.”
He said officers will be posted across the city scanning for drivers who fail to maintain their lane, drive above the speed limit, or have not turned on headlights after dark. Leonard said someone died from a drunk driving incident every 40 minutes. That’s some 13,000 per year.
“Impaired driving is a serious problem,” Leonard said. “If you plan to drink alcohol for the Super Bowl or any type of special event like that, you should plan for a sober ride home. When making those plans, finding a designated driver is very important.”
Leonard said the sober public can even do extra to help keep the roads safe as well. He said anyone who sees suspicious driving that may be the result of an impaired driver can call the Cookeville Police Department’s non-emergency number at 931-526-2125.
“There’s not any particular area,” Leonard said. “In fact, some people choose to go to maybe a restaurant or some other venue to watch the game together with some friends, or some people may choose to go to a friend’s house and plan on having a party there.”
Leonard also said people should understand the seriousness of serving alcohol to a minors if they are hosting people under the age of 21. He said those who do serve to minors can be held liable for any wreck, injury, or even death that results from that minor’s driving.