Break out the nachos, chicken wings, and beer! It’s Super Bowl time! Time for you to watch silly commercials while cheering on your favorite team—or the one that offends you less. For you non-sporty folk, it’s time to play fun drinking games, like drink every time a celebrity randomly pops up in a commercial, or drink every time Justin Timberlake goes for a high note. Whatever else you do on Super Bowl Sunday, try not to drink and drive. Cops are on the lookout, and they have quotas to meet.
A lot of alcohol goes down on the day of the Super Bowl. Just how bad does it get?
Facing the Facts
BACtrack, a brand of portable breathalyzers, reported that the average blood alcohol content (BAC) for people pulled over on the day of Super Bowl 2014 was .091%, which is .011% more than California’s legal limit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 21% of fatal crashes nationwide in 2012 involved drivers with BAC of 0.08% or higher.
Statistics like these show that driving under the influence is practically a time-honored tradition come Super Bowl time.
Maybe that’s why companies sometimes bring out marketing gimmicks. Just last year, Tostitos created a chip bag decked out with alcohol sensors. While the bag didn’t act as a breathalyzer analyzing BAC, it “lit up” if it sensed any alcohol in the person holding the bag. An Uber coupon would appear after detection, to discourage drunk driving.
It’s interesting to wonder gimmicks other companies will pull out this year. Will you find a Lyft coupon at the bottom of your chicken wings? Will a pizza box call you an Uber if it detects alcohol? Who knows?
Drunk driving is obviously dangerous. The NHTSA found that over one-third (36%) of traffic accidents in the U.S. involved drivers who had been drinking on game day and drove anyway.
To combat this, organizations like the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) issue tips to discourage drunk driving at parties. Here are some of the best tips:
- Plan ahead. Find someone who you can trust to be a designated driver if you’re drinking (or volunteer to be one, if you’re not).
- Use alternative transportation. Call a taxi or hail an Uber. Be mindful that rates will be higher.
- If you’re serving, don’t serve drinks to someone who is obviously drunk. If you do, make sure he stays the night at your place.
That said, there’s a lot of gray area where you’re not actually intoxicated and feel safe enough to drive. Maybe you are. But Super Bowl Sunday is a big money-maker for local police departments, and they may disagree. There will be a lot of DUI traps in Orange County come February 4, 2018. Be aware.
If you’re nabbed, don’t wait. As soon as you’re pulled over, call a lawyer. DUI convictions are expensive and a good attorney will make all the difference. For an aggressive Orange County DUI defense, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (888) 478-8999. Your consultation is free.