Super Bowl Party Warning: Designate a Driver
It is that time again; February 1 is Super Bowl Sunday this year. Drivers and passengers should be aware of the high crash risk from drinking and driving associated with Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest one-day sporting event in the United States and unfortunately one of the most dangerous days on many roads and highways. Deaths caused by DUI drivers are preventable. Every one of us has a responsibility to ensure we do not contribute to the problem by allowing a drunk or drugged driver to hit the road on the big game day, or any other day either.
In one recent study, researchers sought to determine whether drinking on Super Bowl Sunday differed from Saturdays, the heaviest drinking day of the week, among at-risk drinkers. A total 196 heavy drinking participants were selected for whom the date of the Super Bowl was included in their daily alcohol consumption reports (including reports of abstinence) for 2006, 2007, and 2008. Participants’ average age was 36; 49.5% were women. In addition, participants at the point of recruitment were not seeking treatment and had not been in alcohol treatment in the past year. Analyses using multilevel modeling indicated that on Super Bowl Sundays, men drank more alcohol across all 3 years and women’s drinking was higher in one of the 3 years.
According to an analysis of the California Highway Patrol crash data, there is a 77 percent increased risk of alcohol-related fatal and injury crashes throughout California on Super Bowl Sunday. In Los Angeles County, it is 57 percent and in San Diego County, it is 117 percent. The analysis reviewed the number of alcohol-related fatal and injury crashes that occur from 5 p.m. Sunday through 4 a.m. the following day for five Super Bowl Sundays (2009-2013) compared to other Sundays during January and February.
We encourage everyone to make a plan; designate a sober driver ahead of time, contact a ride-sharing service, hire a taxi or use public transportation. If those are not possible, consider a hotel, go to the neighbors’ or stay at home. Even better, why not enjoy the day and big game without alcohol at all. Specialty non-alcoholic drinks are fun and the variety caters to everyone’s taste.
Have a safe Super Bowl game day.