This is the big weekend. Our beloved Packers are squaring off against the Steelers for the championship on Sunday. While many die-hard fans will be traveling down to Texas to see the game in person, the rest of us will be gathering with friends and family here in Wisconsin to watch the Packers win.
This weekend promises to be a lot of fun, but there is also an element of danger: drunk driving. It is a safe bet that most Super Bowl celebrations will include alcohol this weekend. It is also a safe bet that Wisconsin police will be stepping up DUI enforcement across the state. Every year, Super Bowl weekend causes a small spike in the amount of drunk-driving fatalities and injuries, which means that police are on high alert.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has launched a campaign to remind all of us about the dangers of drunk driving. They have provided advertisements and press releases which urge all football fans to be safe and smart this weekend.
For those hosting a party, be sure to provide food as well as alcohol, and monitor the speed at which your guests are consuming drinks. It is a good idea to provide non-alcoholic drinks as well.
Most importantly, friends and party hosts need to take care of all guests to make sure that no one drives drunk. Designate at least one sober driver, or make arrangements for taxi services before kick-off. That way, there is no question about how guests will be getting home.
With extra enforcement this weekend, Super Bowl partiers are at a higher risk for a DUI charge, which comes with serious penalties. But this is a safety issue as well. WisDOT reports that alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin kill or injure someone every two hours. That number is sure to be higher during an event like the Super Bowl.
For Wisconsinites there is no bigger celebration than cheering on the Packers in the Super Bowl. This weekend will be a lot of fun, but only if we celebrate safely. If you're drinking this weekend, let someone else drive.
Source: WQOW.com, "Super Bowl Sunday safety message," 31 January 2011