On average, about 98.7 million fans tune into watch the game on Super Bowl Sunday. If you’re going to be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party this weekend when the New Orleans Saints take on the Indianapolis Colts, you should plan in advance for your safety and that of your guests.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) suggests that designating a driver should be at the top of everyone’s super bowl party list. They note that:
“According to the most recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, alcohol-impaired-driving crashes accounted for 32 percent of total motor vehicle traffic fatalities. On Super Bowl Sunday (February 3 to 5:59 a.m. February 4), 49 percent of the fatalities occurred in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher. Overall, more than 13,000 Americans died that year in crashes involving an impaired driver.”
Whether you plan to be a party host or a party attendee, III offers a list of tips and suggestions to help you stay safe. Plus, party hosts have a particular imperative to protect guests. It’s the right thing to do – plus, it may protect you from liability.
Here are some additional tips from the Natioanl Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s Fans don’t let fans drive drunk program.
Tips for party hosts
If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in an impaired driving crash. To protect both yourself and your guests:
- Make sure all guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
- Serve lots of food—and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
Tips for party attendees
If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Research and use a local Sober Rides program.
- Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.
- Always buckle up—it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.
Drunk Driving Laws by State