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October 1, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Competition to raise awareness about consequences of drunken driving

With the number of downtown drinking establishments growing along with the area’s popularity, it’s more than appropriate for a drunken-driving awareness event to be scheduled here next weekend.

The second annual Pull The Flag on Drunk Driving Downtown 360 Bowl will be staged starting Friday and ending Sunday on the athletic fields of Las Vegas Academy, 315 S. Seventh St. starting Friday and ending Sunday.

The event is free, but those attending may buy raffle tickets and bet on teams by dropping tickets into cans labeled with team names. Attendees also can visit food trucks, a kids zone and other games.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety, Zappos, Downtown 360 and Downtown Project are sponsoring the event.

Competition begins at 3 p.m. Friday; play restarts at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Saturday; and playoffs take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The focus of the event is spreading information about drunken driving. In 2012, organizers say, Nevada saw 156 fatal vehicle accidents, of which 74 were alcohol-related. So far this year, 62 of 213 traffic fatalities have been related to alcohol.

Groups such as Zero Fatalities and Designated Drivers will have booths with more information. Money raised will be used toward next year’s tournament and donated to local anti-drunken driving charities and advocacy groups.

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