A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

It’s ‘Big Game’ day — be a responsible party-goer and responsible host — and don’t drive alcohol-impaired

Festivities are well underway for Sunday’s big game with scores of people making plans as to where to watch and what they will eat and drink. AAA advises party planners and football fans to designate a sober driver or arrange for alternate transportation options before the party starts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities often spike on holidays and popular party drinking days.

Every day, about 37 people in the U.S die in drunk driving crashes – that’s one person every 39 minutes. In 2021, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths – a 14% increase from 2020. Fatalities in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers continue to represent almost one-third (31%) of the total motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. These deaths were all preventable.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety‘s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index (2022) shows drivers overwhelmingly perceive driving after drinking alcohol (94%) as dangerous and 68% believe such a driver would be likely to be apprehended by police, however 7% of respondents reported having engaged in this behavior in the past 30 days.

“Drinking and driving is not a game–it’s a deadly combination and a crime,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “Make your winning drive a sober one and designate a driver before indulging in alcohol. Don’t fumble when it comes to safety. Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable.”

Be mindful of these Tips for a Safe Big Game Party

Be a responsible partygoer:

• If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
• If you plan to drink, select a designated driver. If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
• Buckle up — it’s your best defense against other impaired drivers.

Be a responsible host:

• Offer food and non-alcoholic beverages.
• Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
• Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
• Keep the numbers for local rideshare and cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.


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