There’ s a good chance we know where you’ll be during the Super Bowl. If you’re a fan and you’re free, you’ll be in front of a TV (except for 71,795 of you, who will be in Houston at NRG stadium). You’ll be at your home, or a friend’s home, or at a sports bar with friends, shoulder to shoulder with other fans, digging into buffalo wings and shouting at the screen.
And if you drink, you’ll be drinking. The Super Bowl is, after all, very close to a public holiday and it is a major social occasion, complete with its own recipes and rituals.
The day after the Super Bowl, thousands of Americans will be in jail. They’ll have been arrested for drunk driving, having tried to make it home after a Super Bowl party that included a lot of beer or punch, and not enough designated drivers.
The police know that Super Bowl drunk driving is a sport in itself, particularly the hours after the game, when people are making their way home after the celebrations. Males aged 21-35 are the most likely to drive while impaired. Not coincidentally, they are also the target age group for the NFL.
You can expect there to be more patrols out, looking for the signs of impairment on the road. Which means if you have been drinking and driving, you’ll wake up in a cell tomorrow morning. That was probably not in your plans.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, a sober ride home is one of the easier things to plan for. The key word is “plan.” If you are planning on having drinks, make sure there’s a non-drinker who can give you a ride home. Or have a taxi or rideshare organized.
Whoever wins on Sunday, make sure you’re not the big loser on Monday.