Don’t ruin a Super Bowl win with a DUI – or worse

KANSAS CITY , Mo. – Most folks in  these parts are primed for the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl this Sunday, but getting everybody home safe  is on the minds of Kansas  law enforcement.

“Tragically, Super Bowl Sunday is becoming one of the most deadly days on our roads because of drunk drivers,” said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. ‘As we celebrate and cheer on our favorite team, it’s important not to take the festivities on the road. Drivers should be extra cautious and not even take the risk of driving impaired. Also, remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

This California DUI crash killed a mother and injured her three children./Fresno Bee

The numbers are brutal and once drivers have crossed that line for a DUI or worse, a drunk driving accident, there’s no going back. Thirty-seven Americans die every day in drunk driving-related crashes  one every 39 minutes, according to the National Transportation and Safety Bureau. The KansasDepartment of Transportation tracks crash statistics for the Friday through monday. of each Super Bowl championship game. I’m 2019 to 2022, alcohol-related crashes in Kansas have increased each year. alcohol is a factor in a third of the fatalities.

There are lots of options to cheer the chiefs, drink up and get home safe. 

If you’re partying:

  • If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
  • If you plan to drink, select a designated driver and give them your car keys.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home or call a cab or a ride share service.
  • Buckle up — it’s your best defense against other impaired drivers.

If you’re hosting:

  • Serve food and provide non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride sharing with other sober drivers.
  • Avoid holding an open bar and mix your guests’ drinks yourself.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies and mobile apps for ride sharing services handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Festivities for Sunday’s big game are fast approaching with scores of people making plans as to where to watch and what they will eat and drink. 

“This region, especially, is going to be pretty excited about the Chiefs getting back to the championship game,” said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. “A lot of people will be watching the Super Bowl, whether it’s at home or at a friend’s house or at a sports bar. We just want to remind people, I think it’s pretty self-evident, that impaired driving is a big issue this weekend.”

AAA Kansas advises party planners and football fans to prepare by designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation options before the party starts.

“If you’re a partygoer, if you plan to drive, don’t drink,” Steward said. “If you plan to drink, make sure that you have a 100% sober ride home. Whether that’s a friend, a ride share, a cab, whatever it takes to get you home safely.”

Every day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes – that’s one person every 39 minutes.

“If you’re hosting a party, make sure that you’re offering food and non-alcoholic beverages,” Steward said. “Make sure that your guests are arranging safe rides home after the party, so you don’t have that on your conscience.”

The Kansas Department of Transportation tracks crash statistics for the 78-hour period (Fri.-Mon.) surrounding the football championship game each year. During this reporting period, from 2019 to 2022, alcohol-related crashes have risen each year, with alcohol playing a factor in one-third of the traffic fatalities.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.