EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Super Bowl Sunday is only a few days away and local law enforcement are looking to “Tackle Impaired Driving.”
It’s one of the biggest drinking days of the year, with impaired driving incidents increasing by approximately 22% on game day, according to AAA.
Aside from New Year’s Eve, AAA says there are more alcohol-related crashes and DUI-related injuries on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.
The Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation decided to hold a press conference this year inside a bar.
The foundation was created after Tori was hit by a drunk driver on March 26, 2003, leaving her with a severe brain injury. She was 12 at the time and passed away last year at the age of 31.
Her mother, Cathy Andreozzi, told 12 News they wanted to give their message in a venue where people may find themselves this weekend to get them more comfortable having this conversation.
“Our state has suffered entirely too many senseless deaths and injuries on the roadways of Rhode Island over numerous years. This needs to change as our citizens are needlessly dying on our roads,” she said. “These crashes are 100% preventable. A team effort moves us to the goal of a Road to Zero.”
In events past, law enforcement usually fills the room, but this year, high school football players from West Warwick and East Greenwich were there to hear how impaired driving is preventable.
Bristol Police Chief Kevin Lynch, who also heads the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, is calling on Gen Z to change the status quo.
“I say to you gentlemen, it’s going to take your generation to adopt behavioral change where impaired driving becomes customary, that no one’s going to get involved in that, just like wearing a seat belt, putting somebody in a car seat, not smoking in a restaurant. So, we have to do a better job,” he said.
Officials urge people celebrating this weekend, or anytime, to make a plan to have a designated sober driver, use a rideshare app, or just stay home.