WASHINGTON – Super Bowl Sunday is often enjoyed along with alcoholic beverages, but experts warn there is a 10 percent jump in alcohol-related traffic deaths on the day each year and those who are planning to drink shouldn’t drive.
“According to 2011 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 31 percent of all traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers. But, on Super Bowl Sunday specifically, it jumps up to 40 percent,” says Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of the non-profit group Washington Regional Alcohol Program.
Erickson recommends Super Bowl party hosts serve high protein foods, such as meats and cheeses, that help slow alcohol absorption rates. That’s also accomplished, he says, by mixing alcohol or punches with non-carbonated bases.
Most people are familiar with the designated driver concept. Erickson espouses designated bartenders. Not letting guests mix their own drinks is “another safety valve that you can exercise.”
To report suspected intoxicated drivers, call 911 in D.C. and Maryland. In Virginia, call #77.
Drunk driving “is the one public health issue that’s 100 percent preventable,” says Erickson.