Law enforcement officers up DUI patrols for Super Bowl Sunday - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement officers watch for drunk drivers after Super Bowl

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Five minutes after kickoff, Cpl. Brian Jones pulled over a driver for speeding in downtown Charleston.

"They just wanna go out and have a good time," said Cpl. Jones, with the Charleston Police Dept. "And think this one time they won't get caught."

The officer only issued a warning to the driver, but Cpl. Jones spent the rest of the night searching for people driving under the influence.

In light of Super Bowl festivities, at least three extra officers helped with DUI patrols in Charleston.

He said CPD installed new cruiser cameras late last year that help capture every traffic stop in living color, and record the footage and audio on the officers' laptops.

"Now we're better equipped with better equipment," said Cpl. Jones, who has worked as an officer for 22 years. "We can film their field sobriety tests and any statements they make."

Police said the slowest time for traffic is the first quarter of the big game--but once the half-time show hits, drunk drivers start meandering onto the roads or to the next party.

"You've only got four hours so people are drinking a lot," said Trooper S. Gula, with the West Virginia State Police.

Gula said drunk drivers, on top of icy road conditions, could be a deadly combination. So troopers tout a zero-tolerance policy, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.

"If we catch 'em, we're going to arrest them and put them in jail," Gula said.

That's why people like Maria Dempsey planned ahead. She volunteered to be a designated driver for her friends on Sunday night.

"Not even counting the weather, it's just not worth it to ruin your night or somebody else's night or another family's night," said Dempsey, of Charleston.

But she's not the only fan with a plan.

"I live about six miles from here,"said Anthony Badger, who was watching the game at Adelphia Sports Bar & Grill in downtown Charleston. "I'm actually waking this evening. I know it's chilly outside, but it's to be safe."