(WKBN) – The Chiefs and 49ers aren’t the only ones preparing for the big game this weekend. The Ohio State Highway Patrol posts in the area say they’ll be stepping up patrols.
When asked how Super Bowl weekend compares to other holidays in terms of extra police presence, State Highway Patrol Sgt. Matt Abbey says it’s high up there.
“Super Bowl Sunday is one of the highest profile events in this country. There’s a lot of people out on the road participating,” said Abbey.
Abbey says for Sunday’s game, officers who don’t normally work will be offered twice the pay per hour.
These incentives increase state patrol cars on the road by at least 10%.
“Working the areas that are known for high OVI issues, we’re just trying to deter the effects of impaired driving,” Abbey said.
In 2019, there were 62 OVI arrests across the state of Ohio from Super Bowl 6 a.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday.
There were also six traffic crashes in which seven people lost their lives.
Eight of those OVI arrests were made here in the Mahoning Valley.
“If someone’s headed out this weekend to drive, just make sure you’re not drinking. If you do intend to drink, just designate a sober driver. Just be safe. People want to have fun, understandably, just be safe while doing it,” Abbey said.
The game also leads to more people coming back home to visit.
Reuben Robinson says he’s not the only one visiting home for Sunday’s game, and with everyone preparing, that leads to more cars on the road all weekend.
“Everybody’s shopping, preparing for the Super Bowl. Whether they’re preparing it at home or a Super Bowl party, whatever the case may be, they’re out getting everything they want,” said Robinson.
State Highway Patrol says there will be no added checkpoints for Sunday’s game, but more patrol cars means more eyes looking for impaired driving.