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Office of Highway Safety to Promote Safe Driving During First-Ever Summit League ‘Fan Fest’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Contact: Tony Mangan, Public Information Officer, 605-773-6196


Office of Highway Safety to Promote Safe Driving

During First-Ever Summit League ‘Fan Fest’


PIERRE, S.D. – Along with all of the college basketball being played this weekend in Sioux Falls,  South Dakota’s Office of Highway Safety is throwing in safe driving messages – and prizes – for good measure.


The agency is participating in the first-ever Fan Fest being held during the Summit League Basketball Championships Saturday and Sunday, March 4-5, in the Sioux Falls Arena.


Fans attending the Highway Safety booth will get the chance to shoot free throws while wearing alcohol impairment goggles, also known as “drunk goggles,” that simulate intoxication. Those ready to test their basketball skills will get a first-hand look at how inebriation earns them a one-way ticket to the bench – also known as jail.


“If you have been drinking, you might think you can safely drive; but by wearing the drunk googles, you quickly discover that it is a dangerous misperception,” says Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl. “We would rather have you learn that lesson by missing a free throw than by causing a deadly vehicle crash.”


While the number of vehicle-related fatalities in South Dakota again decreased in 2016, there was a slight increase in the number of such crashes that were alcohol related. Axdahl says educating more people, especially young people, about the dangers of drinking and driving remains a priority.


“Too many lives have been needlessly lost because people who had been drinking thought they could get behind the wheel,” he says. “We are using events such as the Summit League Fan Fest as a way to educate people that it is important to use common sense when they drive.”


Fan Fest, which is open to all ages, will be held from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday at the Sioux Falls Arena. A tournament ticket is not needed for Fan Fest.


The Office of Highway Safety is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.