Super Bowl Sunday is one of our country's most popular holidays, whether you enjoy watching football or not. However, police say it can be one of the most dangerous days of the year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities last year occurred on Super Bowl Sunday, but police say lowering that number is all about making a plan and sticking to it.
When the Giants and Patriots square off under the lights, millions will crowd around televisions, stuff their faces with food they'll regret eating later, and some will consume alcohol. Cpl. Jason McNeal, Staunton Police Department, says there's nothing wrong with any of it as long as they don't get into a car.
"The roads are just bombarded with traffic all at pretty much the same time, which, especially if there's drinking and driving involved, you've got a lot more cars to deal with and a higher possibility of accidents," says McNeal.
He says you're best bet is to designate a driver beforehand, so that regardless of the outcome of the game, you know you're safe.
McNeal says, "Obviously you need to drink in a very limited amount. It only takes one or two beers before you're over the legal limit, depending on body weight and what you're used to drinking."
McNeal says your blood alcohol content effects your every move, which can be dangerous in a car.
He says, "Going over the yellow line, are they not able to make a turn correctly, do they run a red light, are they not using their headlights at all?"
If you do have to hit the road, he says to give yourself an hour or two for each drink you've had, or just sleep it off. If you're team loses, it's not the end of the world, but if you drive drunk, it just may be.
McNeal says, "Stay at home and party at home. That's the best advice I can give."
Police will be actively patrolling Sunday night, looking closely for drunk drivers.
Here are some tips for those who plan on hosting a party:
- Designate a sober driver for your guests.
- Serve a lot of food, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.
- Stop serving alcohol after the third quarter of the game.
- Keep local cab numbers handy for guests after the game.
- Take the car keys away from guests who drink alcohol.