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Don’t make it a stupid Super Bowl Sunday

February 3, 2013
Salem News

The Super Bowl will be played this evening. It is America's biggest unofficial holiday. There are some - which we find pretty amusing - who even want the?Monday following the Super Bowl to be declared a legal national holiday. Yeah, go ahead and chuckle. Maybe that will come after, oh say, Congress declares a national holiday for Jack and Bobby Kennedy or FDR. For starters.

There are 314 million and counting residents of the United States. Last year, just under 112 million people watched the New ?York Giants win the Super Bowl. Do the math. Yes, over one-third of every man, woman and child in our country and, according to studies, 76 percent of our adult population will be watching the game tonight. The Super Bowl is not for everyone. Thank goodness for that. But it apparently is for tens of millions.

There is not a clear, exact study detailing how many people will be drinking alcohol. More specifically how many people will be drinking alcohol to excess. And then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Most will get away with it. Some won't

People do not want to read or hear sermons regarding the evils of drink and drive. Anyone with even a few functioning brain cells knows what can happen. We read and hear about it every single day. The tragedies and the inflicting hardships.

But people keep doing it. Especially on a day like Super - not Stupor, mind you - Bowl Sunday.

It doesn't help that Super Sunday is a daylong event. By the time the game actually kicks off around 6:30 p.m., there has been an ocean of alcohol consumed across our country. A really deep ocean with a lot of drunks already bobbing in it.

Think about. If drinking in excess, how hard is it to get a designated driver, call a taxi or just plain sleep it off wherever you happen to be?

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during last year's Super Bowl, the Patrol made 46 OVI-related arrests from Feb. 5, 2012, at 6 a.m. through Feb. 6, 2012, at 6 a.m. During this 24-hour reporting period, there were three fatalities and 193 injuries resulting from traffic crashes. One of the traffic fatalities and 16 of the injuries were from OVI-related crashes.

"While we want people to enjoy the big game, we want them to do so responsibly," said Director Thomas Charles, Ohio Department of Public Safety. "We want everyone to take the appropriate steps to ensure they get home safely."

According to a release, getting caught driving while impaired will earn you a costly penalty from law enforcement, and may even result in losing your driving privileges. For bars and establishments, over-serving or serving underage patrons could also mean costly fines, suspension or revocation of their liquor permit.

To help keep the roads safe this Super Bowl weekend, more than 81 local law enforcement agencies around the state will be conducting more than 1,925 hours of enforcement activity and 1,100 hours of saturation patrols, funded by federal grants provided through OTSO. That is good to know.

Don't forget too if you are hosting a Super Bowl party and minors get their hands on the refreshments, big trouble, legal and otherwise, will follow. Plan in advance just in case someone does get drunk.

Today should be a fun day. At least for over 110 million Americans. Don't screw it up by being super stupid on Super Bowl Sunday. There is just too much to lose. Starting with precious lives.



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