Keep your Super Bowl party safe

Super Bowl Sunday is America’s great get-together. Over 100 million viewers gather around a televised campfire every February to watch the NFL crown a new champion. Music stars command the halftime stage. And advertisers show off their latest commercials.

It also is one of the biggest drinking days of the year, rivaling Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. If you are hosting a Super Bowl LIV party, there is more at stake than keeping the beer cold and the bean dip warm. There might be scores of drunk drivers on the roads after the game. Be responsible by rallying your friends to survive the rush.

Help your guests drive sober

This is your place, your rules. There is no shame in playing it safe when you are trying to get your friends home in one piece.

Here are five tips to keep your friends safe after the big game:

  • Volunteer to be a designated driver. Set a positive example and give your friends peace of mind if they have had too much to drink.
  • Organize a sober ride. If you have been drinking or there are not sober drivers available for inebriated guests, coordinate public transportation, call a taxi or arrange a ride service.
  • Schedule last call. Encourage your guests to pace themselves and give them time to sober up before the trophy presentation.
  • Offer non-alcoholic drinks. Give visitors choices and help limit the number of drunk drivers on the roads.
  • Play overnight host. If a guest has had too much to drink but insists on driving, seize their car keys. It might cause a stir, but they’ll be alive to thank you later.

Remember, never serve alcohol to minors. You might think it is harmless to look the other way, but it is illegal in Missouri to host a party where booze is served to people under the age of 21. It also greatly increases the risk to everyone on the road. Underage drivers who drive drunk are 17 times more likely to die in a crash than when they drive sober.

Win the night

Think those big game commercials are expensive? So are the personal injury costs related to drunk-driving crashes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that alcohol-related crashes cost more than $44 billion every year.

You want your guests to enjoy the ballgame, the food, the company and come back another day. Make a transportation game plan and stick to it. The last thing you want to do is fumble at the goal line.