Super Bowl Health Tip: Don't Drink and Drive

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So yesterday I read that more than 3,000 miles from where Super Bowl XLVI will be played in the isolated Alaska community of Dillingham, officials have decided to pass a law officially waiving a Sunday ban on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants for Super Bowl Sunday’s. This follows a temporary waiver for last year’s game (which was trouble free) in Dillingham where only one bar took advantage of the reprieve, the Willow Tree bar.

Alaska is not a blue-law state, but local communities can choose to ban Sunday sales. Neither is Pennsylvania, but that state allows bars and restaurants that choose not to have a Sunday sales license to serve alcoholic beverages on Super Bowl Sundays, and New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day — if they fall on a Sunday. Increasingly, former blue-law states are choosing to allow stores to sell spirits on Sunday.

But Indiana, which remains a blue-law state, isn’t budging from its Sunday ban on package store sales even for the first Super Bowl ever held in the state. Indiana and a shrinking list of blue-law places, however, do give residents the option of drinking at bars and restaurants.

Since 2002, 15 states have repealed their Sunday alcohol sales bans, most recently in Georgia, which now allows local communities to choose whether Sunday sales should be allowed. That leaves 13 states with some kind of restrictions on Sunday sales, including Indiana and Connecticut, which prohibit the Sunday package store sales of beer, wine and spirits. The other 11 states just ban Sunday store sales of spirits, which brings me to the point of this post.

Dillingham’s relaxing of the rules isn’t necessarily a good thing. When there are rules put in place with the intention of protecting us from ourselves and we make exceptions to those rules, in most instance we are asking for trouble.

In 2010, over 10,000 people were killed in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Please make sure that you are conscious of how much alcohol you are serving your guests and also how much those around you are consuming.

I don’t know what it is about getting older, perhaps it’s because I have three children and I look at things differently than I used to, but I seem to become more conservative every day. Please don’t drink and drive today, it’s just not worth it. Here are some helpful suggestions for an enjoyable safe, Super Sunday.

Hosting a Super Bowl Party?

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers before kickoff or help arrange ridesharing with other sober drivers.
  • Serve plenty of food.

Offer a variety of non-alcoholic choices like non-alcoholic beers, soft drinks, juice, and water.

  • Serve one drink at a time and serve measured drinks.
  • Determine ahead of time when you’ll stop serving alcohol, such as one hour before the end of the party or at the end of the third quarter of the game (just like NFL stadiums) and begin serving coffee and dessert.

Going Somewhere?

  • Designate a sober driver before the party begins; avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast; pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Take appropriate steps to prevent anyone from driving while impaired.
  • Always buckle up—it’s your best defense on the road.