You hear the warnings from law enforcement for holiday season DUI crackdowns. Thanksgiving and Christmas, law enforcement knows you’re drinking eggnog and brandy. At New Years, law enforcement knows you’re drinking champagne. Law enforcement knows you’re drinking green beer on Saint Patrick’s Day. Guess what? Law enforcement also knows that you’ll be drinking at America’s favorite non-holiday; Super Bowl Sunday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that, in 2010, 40 percent of fatal accidents that occurred on Super Bowl Sunday were the result of drunk driving. Law enforcement agencies throughout California (…and the country) hope to reduce this statistic with “saturation” patrols targeting sports bar hot spots and areas with high DUI related collisions rates. And don’t forget about the increase in DUI checkpoints.
Be it for the game or the commercials, people will be watching this Sunday’s Super Bowl and they’ll likely be doing it with a chip with seven-layer dip in one hand and an alcoholic drink in the other. So before you celebrate a Raven’s touchdown or a 49ers interception with a shot or a beer, keep a few things in mind. Find a designated sober driver. Call a taxi or make plans to have a family member pick you up. Don’t drink too much too fast. Make sure you have food in your system (not a problem at most Super Bowl parties). Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks.
Also remember that, even if you do not drink, others have been and they will also be on the road. Be alert and buckle up. If you are a bartender or a party host, while the legal consequences for serving a drunk driver are limited in California, don’t add to the problem. Stop serving someone if they appear drunk and have intention on driving home. Have cab numbers readily available. Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter and make the fourth quarter the “sobering up” quarter. DUI prevention and precautions are not limited to those who have been drinking.