AAA Mid-Atlantic: Make Sunday’s Big Game a Time for Friends, Family and Football, NOT Fatalities
Hamilton, NJ, January 31, 2019 – Pizza, snacks and beer are synonymous with watching the big game, but driving impaired after game day festivities can be deadly. AAA Mid-Atlantic is urging all football fans to call the right play this weekend by passing the keys to a sober driver before the game begins.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities often spike on holidays and popular drinking days, like Super Bowl Sunday. Drunk driving can be deadly, and even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgement to make driving unsafe. In 2017, there were 10,874 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers.
According to NJDOT there were 7,156 alcohol related crashes in 2017 resulting in 119 alcohol related fatalities.
“Drinking and driving is not a game – it’s a deadly combination and a crime – both of which are 100 percent preventable,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Make your winning drive a sober one and designate a driver before you indulge in game day spirits. Don’t fumble when it comes to safety.”
AAA urges party hosts to celebrate safely with these tips:
- Ask guests to pre-plan for a designated driver who will enjoy delicious mocktails you provide and drive the group home. Visit AAA.com/mocktail for alcohol-free drink options.
- Collect all drivers' keys in a bowl when guests arrive and monitor the sobriety of guests as they leave.
- Mix drinks yourself; avoid open bars.
- Limit mixing drinks with carbonated beverages; they increase alcohol absorption.
- Close your bar 90 minutes before your party is over. Don't offer, "one for the road."
- Serve high-protein foods (meats & cheeses). Cheese fondues and cheese balls are good, too. They stay in the stomach longer and slow down intoxication. The same goes for starchy foods like mashed potatoes and beans.
- Go light on salty foods. They make guests thirsty and speed up intoxication. Offer raw veggies and low-salt crackers.
- Only TIME can make guests sober- not coffee or cold showers. It takes about 1 hour to burn off an average drink, 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1 ½ ounces of liquor. They all contain about the same amount of alcohol.
- Designate someone who's not drinking to assess guests when they are ready to leave and make sure they are not intoxicated. The 'roadwise' host is in charge of the bowl of keys and hands them out only to those who aren't showing signs of intoxication.
- Guests who are sleepy, giddy, overly talkative or uncoordinated are under the influence. Arrange rides for them or invite them to sleep over. If guests get irate, 'hide' their keys until they find a ride home.
- The first ability affected by alcohol is judgment and decision-making. For some people, it only takes one drink for reflexes and judgment needed for driving to be impaired. It's not a weakness. It's a reality.
- If a guest would be unsafe behind the wheel, call a ride share service like Lyft or Uber.
REMEMBER: A host who feels like he has lost a friend one night will have an even better friend the next morning.
Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.