Even if you are not a football fan you probably have plans on Sunday to watch the biggest sporting event of the year–The Super Bowl. This year it is a bi-coastal affair, with the Baltimore Ravens facing the San Francisco 49ers. Virtually every year the Super Bowl is the single most watched television event, both for the game itself and the commercials. Living rooms, sports bars, taverns, restaurants, and more will all be packed with local residents having a few drinks, snacks, enjoying laughs with friends, and watching the game.
Unfortunately, Super Bowl Sunday is also a time of the year that comes with an increase in automobile accidents and a spike in New Hampshire DUI arrests. It is little wonder why. Many local residents start their Super Bowl parties early. With the game itself lasting several hours, it is not uncommon for people to spend five or six hours (or more) snacking and drinking before heading home for the evening. It is easy to lose tracks of one's alcohol intake, fail to take precautions, and get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The long-term consequences of an accident, a DWI arrest, or both cannot be underestimated. For that reason, it is critical to plan now to avoid this situation and ensure you able to enjoy the Super Bowl safely, without mistakes that can last the rest of your life.
Some tips to keep in mind:
1. Keep Track of Drinks. This seems obvious, but with all-day affairs like Super Bowl parties, it is easy to lose track of time and completely forget how much you have actually had to drink. Come up with a simple way to count your drinks–beer caps in your pocket or some similar trick. If you find yourself having more than one drink per hour, consider slowing down for a bit.
2. Avoid Drinking Games. One of the main ways to lose track of how much you have had is by playing games where drinks are taken ad hoc. Beer pong, flip cup, quarters, and other games must be engaged in carefully.
3. Drink Water & Eat Snacks. As most people know, your level of intoxication can be affected by the other things you eat and drink while consuming alcohol. It is always a good idea to have a glass of water for each drink or once every hour. Or maybe you can stop for a big glass of water at the end of each quarter in the football game to keep pace. Similarly, do not drink too much on an empty stomach. Be sure to hit the snack table and balance out your consumption.
4. Designate a Driver. The oldest trick in the book to prevent a DUI still works–plan on having a sober driver bring you back home. Whether it is a cab driver called at the end of the night, another party guest who did not drink, or a relative who picks you up, there is nothing to lose by having an alternative driver after the festivities. Be sure to have a designated driver set up before you start drinking. Many DUIs result from drivers who plan on having a designated driver but then fail to call them later.
Remember: you may not be thinking clearly at the end of the night, so put your plans in place early.
We hope all New Hampshire residents act prudently this weekend and travel safely. However, if you or someone you know gets arrested for DWI, it is critical to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to best handle the situation.