How many of you are planning to host or attend a Super Bowl party this weekend? Have you thought about designating a driver if you plan to drink? Though one individual is wagering millions on the Eagles' win, it's a safe bet that Bellingham roads will see more drunk drivers this weekend.
Drunk driving kills, and Super Bowl Sunday is one of the drunkest days of the year. In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers.
It should be taken for granted that if you're planning to host or attend a party or travel on game day, you will not get behind the wheel drunk. Last Thanksgiving I posted on how to designate a driver during this very drunk holiday. Here again is a refresher for those hosting the party:
- As guests RSVP, check in that they have a plan in place to get home safely, i.e. a rideshare with a sober driver or a plan to call Uber or a cab or ride public transportation.
- Make "mocktails" or other fun drinks for designated drivers and those who prefer to not use alcohol. Provide water or other beverages like sparkling water for guests to enjoy between alcoholic beverages too.
- Remember only time sobers a person up. Not coffee, not a cold shower. You may need to offer a spare room or couch to give your guest(s) a place to stay put.
- Provide plenty of food to help guests metabolize the alcohol. Also, don't just rely on salty snacks, as guests who tend to eat salty foods drink more.
- Don't push drinks! Sure, it's called "social lubricant" but encourage guests to have a good time without alcohol.
- As the party host, have a good time but stay within your limits so you can help guests stay within theirs.
If you're going out to a bar with friends, take a cab, set up an Uber ride, or name a sober driver. Remember too that even though Bellingham is bike-friendly and it's not illegal to ride your bicycle drunk, you risk your bike getting impounded and that sober driver being a cop if you're spotted biking erratically. You'll want to keep your wits about you if you're sharing the roads with drunk drivers anyway, since bicyclists are going to lose nearly every time in a car vs. bike crash.
Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the game.