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Drunk Driving and the Super Bowl

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, dedicated football fans across the nation have already begun planning their game-day parties and celebrations.  If you are thinking of going to a friend’s house, a local sports bar, or some other destination to watch the game, we recommend planning ahead, especially if you expect to consume alcohol.

Plan ahead.  It’s just not worth taking the chance – Danny Glover 

Super Bowl parties can get very exciting. It is not uncommon to get so enthralled in the game and social experience that you lose track of time and the number of drinks you have consumed. One drink turns into two, then three, then suddenly you are unable to remember how much you had to drink and when.

The last thing you want to do after enjoying the big game is get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk. Even if you think you can operate your vehicle safely, it is not worth the risk of getting a DWI, or being involved in an alcohol-related accident. The police are out in force on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Tips to Help You Avoid Getting a DWI After the Big Game

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, an estimated 38 percent of all vehicle-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday in 2012 were related to drinking and driving. This is an eight percent increase over the average weekend, which is about 30 percent. More than 46,850 drivers were arrested in North Carolina in 2012 for driving under the influence.

Police are often out in force on days like Super Bowl Sunday, as they know there is an increased likelihood of finding intoxicated drivers on the roads. If Super Bowl partygoers take the time to plan ahead, you can all but eliminate your risk of getting a DWI.

  • Designate a sober driver before you head out to watch the game.
  • If you don’t have someone you can designate as a sober driver, make arrangements to take a cab, have a friend come pick you up, hire a car service, or take public transportation to and from your intended destination.
  • Watch the game at home or another location within walking distance from your home.
  • Book a hotel near where you plan to watch the game, so you can walk there afterwards and have a chance to sober up by the next morning.
  • Limit your alcohol intake, and consume it slowly.
  • Be sure to eat food and drink water if you are consuming any alcohol while you are watching the game.

Even if you think you will be okay to drive, it is always safer to avoid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you have been drinking. Depending on how much you drink, and for how long, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) could stay above the legal limit for a lot longer than you may realize. Some individuals may still be drunk, or at the very least buzzed, the following morning.

Hosting a Super Bowl Party? What You Need to Know About Social Host Liability

Drunk drivers are not the only ones who face potential liability on Super Bowl Sunday. Social hosts can also be liable in cases where a guest causes an accident involving property damage or personal injury after leaving the host’s party, provided that:

  • The host served alcohol to the individual
  • The host was well aware, or should have been aware, that the individual was already intoxicated
  • The host knew the individual would be driving after the party

The most effective ways for hosts to minimize the risk of guests drinking and driving after attending their Super Bowl party is to designate sober drivers, hire a car service, provide a place for intoxicated guests to sleep it off, or completely stop serving alcohol during the second half of the game, or even host a “dry” party.

Thought You Were Okay to Drive?

In the event you did think it was safe for you to drive, and you were then arrested and charged with a DWI on Super Bowl Sunday (or the following morning), you will want to consult with a DWI attorney who has extensive experience handling these types of cases.


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