You fight the hustle and bustle of the roadways every day, but you may not know that Super Bowl Sunday is considered to be the most dangerous day to drive, bested only by New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day.
Jim Pollard with AMR medics along with Mike Cashion Executive Director of Mississippi Hospital and Restaurant Association said in a joint statement, “Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest days of the year for drinking beer and liquor. Parties often start hours prior to kick-off and last beyond the end of the game. Those facts can be a recipe for disaster.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that men ages 21 to 34 are most likely to be involved in DUI crashes, speed and are less likely to use a seat belt.
AMR recommends if you’re hosting a party, make sure everyone who is drinking has a designated driver.
“Identify every couple who comes in and find out who the designated driver is. Take everybody else’s keys, hold on to them and keep an eye on the designated driver throughout the party,” said Pollard.
Pollard continued by saying that party hosts have a legal and moral obligation to help keep drunk drivers off the road. They have the same responsibility as any bartender or restaurant server.
“If a guest has a DUI crash, the host may face an expensive lawsuit, not to mention the lifelong emotional pain resulting from the crash,” said Cashion.
Both AMR and MHRA recommend these tips for keeping your guests safe:
· As guests arrives, identify the designated drivers. Remember the designated drivers and make sure they drink zero alcohol. Reward designated drivers with a great spot in front of
the TV or first pass at the buffet. Non-drivers must hand their keys to the designated driver.
· If a guest comes alone and is known to drink alcohol, determine at the start of the party who will take him or her home.
· Do not pressure guests to drink. There’s a big difference between “Would you like something to drink?” compared to “Come on, have a drink!”
· Provide a bartender so guests don’t over-serve themselves. Limit servings of alcohol by keeping glasses filled with ice. Don’t rush to refill guests’ glasses with alcohol.
· Put non-alcoholic drinks in the same place as the alcohol, displayed just as prominently.
· Serve lots of food. Include water and juice plus “mocktails.” Mocktails are mixed drinks without alcohol in them. A “virgin” Bloody Mary looks and tastes much like the real thing. Visit www.allrecipes.com has dozens for mocktail recipes.
· Serve all beverages in the same size and shape glass. That way, those who aren’t drinking alcohol won’t feel or look different.
· Do not allow drinking contests. Ask your guests who are drinking to pace themselves, eat plenty of food and alternate alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks.
· Never serve alcohol to anyone less than 21 years of age. It’s the law and has big penalties.
· If someone shows up drunk or gets drunk, tell the guest he or she has drunk too much and alcohol is off limits. Take the guest aside and offer a place to sleep it off. If another guest is a close friend of the intoxicated person, ask that other guest to help.
· Prevent falls by clearing walkways and stairs and by providing adequate lighting. WUI (walking under the influence) can also lead to serious injury.
· Follow the example of numerous NFL stadiums and stop serving alcohol when the second half starts. Begin serving coffee and dessert. Remember, coffee does not restore sobriety.
· Never let anyone drive who has drunk any alcohol at all, no matter how little. Take the keys. Call a cab. Encourage the guest to stay overnight. Don’t let drunk guests out of your sight.
· As guests leave, help the designated drivers buckle up every passenger. Buckling up protects occupants from other drivers who may be intoxicated.