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AAA urges drivers to use rideshare, designated drivers, over Superbowl weekend

Delaware Public Media

Crashes, arrests, and fatalities involving drunk driving have been rising since the pandemic and typically spike around holidays and popular drinking days, like Super Bowl Sunday this weekend.

AAA Mid Atlantic spokesperson Jana Tidwell says according to 2022 data, 94 percent of drivers perceive driving after drinking alcohol as dangerous, yet seven percent report doing so in the last 30 days.

“It is extremely disappointing to see decades worth of messaging and education out there talking about the dangers of impaired driving, and there really was a behavior shift," Tidwell says. "However, sadly, we saw a change coming out of COVID where people were not heeding the warnings.”

Delaware Department of Transportation data shows there were 1,175 crashes and 103 serious injuries resulting from alcohol-impaired driving in 2022.

“There were nearly 1200 crashes involving impaired drivers during the year 2022," Tidwell says. "72 impaired driving arrests actually happened over Super Bowl weekend that year.”

That’s out of 4,655 total impaired driving arrests in Delaware. Nationally, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in 2021, a 14% increase from 2020. Those fatalities represent almost one-third of total motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S.

Tidwell says AAA recommends choosing a designated driver to stay sober or call a rideshare service. She also encourages party hosts to offer food and non-alcoholic beverages and ensure no impaired guests leave with their keys in hand.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.