Here's to sober Super Bowl parties


As you settle in for today's daylong party known as Super Bowl Sunday - capped by the San Francisco 49ers' trouncing of the overmatched Baltimore Ravens - here are a few Road Warrior-provided fun facts to swallow (figuratively, if not literally):

■ Most pizza delivery businesses will see double their normal Sunday orders.

■ Forty-five million chickens will sacrifice their wings for your sticky, spicy-sauced fingers.

■ Roughly 28 million pounds of chips will be consumed; if laid end to end, they would stretch for 293,000 miles, or roughly 12 times around the equator.

■ Approximately 8 million pounds of guacamole will be eaten with those chips; or, if spread out over the Superdome field, enough avocado dip to stand almost 12 feet high from end zone to end zone.

■ All these goodies will be washed down by an estimated 325.5 million gallons of beer, enough brew to fill 493 Olympic pools.

Now, for a not-so-fun fact:

■ At least a few dozen Southern Nevadans will be arrested for drunken driving as they head home from watching the game at a family member or friend's party or their favorite neighborhood bar.

Will you be one of those individuals handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol cruiser, looking at not only considerable embarrassment but a temporary loss of driving privileges as well as legal fees and fines that could total as much as $5,000?

Worse yet, will you be one of those individuals who caused a DUI accident in which someone was killed or seriously injured?

The Road Warrior knows he beats this drum frequently and loudly; but worse than the humility of being arrested, worse than the hefty financial cost and the inconvenience of a lost license, would be the chilling reality - even if heartfully unintended - of being the cause of someone's death or loss of normal life.

Fortunately, the Road Warrior does not go out on Super Bowl Sunday. That's partly because he enjoys watching and listening to the game and not getting caught up in the overriding sense of party chatter over play-by-play, but mostly because - "personal" not-so-fun fact shared - the Road Warrior has no friends.

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

But he knows most people do, and, as such, Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for socializing. And overeating. And, here's the biggie, overdrinking.

While there's no penalty for blowing 0.08 percent or higher on the breathalyzer for too much guacamole, doing so for too much alcohol can set the wheels in motion for several months of personal misery. And if you're lucky, it will be only YOUR misery.

As part of Nevada's Joining Forces initiative of reducing roadway fatalities, seven local and regional law enforcement agencies will be out in force today - mostly from late afternoon until the wee hours of Monday morning - looking to catch drunken drivers before they harm themselves or others.

Law enforcement knows it can't catch everyone, but officials such as Henderson Chief of Police Patrick Moers believe they are making inroads - starting with the simple pleas that the Road Warrior and other media outlets provide to the announcement of staged checkpoints and moving saturation points that law enforcement uses on Super Bowl night.

In each of the past two years, Clark County had just one DUI fatality amid the post-Super Bowl partying. Obviously, law enforcement wants to make that zero deaths.

Moreover, they want to make that zero DUI arrests. There were 29 in Southern Nevada last Super Bowl Sunday, 13 in Las Vegas.

As Moers points out, it requires a concerted effort by the partygoer as well as family and/or friends to set the stage for driver safety.

If you know someone who is likely to drink to excess, take their car keys and arrange for alternative transportation. If you know you might be prone to overdrinking, surrender your car keys when you walk in the door and ask that someone be available to shuttle you home or call you a cab. You can always make arrangements for getting your car home.

Then pig out. More room taken up by food provides less room for excessive amounts of alcohol. And not every drink has to be alcohol; mix in a soda or a bottled water on occasion.

If you're the party host - and the Road Warrior concedes the following act is unpopular but necessary - do what NFL stadiums do and cut off all alcohol at the end of the third quarter. Make plenty of coffee available for the fourth quarter.

Then have someone who is sober check all drivers as they prepare to leave. If someone is even marginally tipsy - "Buzzed driving is drunk driving," law enforcement reminds us - don't let them get behind the wheel. Better that you argue with someone than deliver their eulogy.

"People who host Super Bowl parties usually do so for family and friends and co-workers, so they're people they know pretty well. They need to help be responsible for their actions," Moers says.

And not just for their safety, he stresses, but for the danger they can create for others.

"As a party host, you could be held responsible (in a civil lawsuit)," he adds. "You provided the booze. Someone could come looking for you because you were the catalyst."

In the end, it requires little more than a common-sense approach to drive safely on Super Bowl Sunday: Enjoy the game while you're out with limited alcohol consumption, and then, if you're so inclined, celebrate the outcome with as much booze as you want once you're home for the evening.

Heck, the Road Warrior might even down a celebratory beer at home Sunday.

By himself. Provided the 49ers win.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter: @RJroadwarrior.

 

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