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Published: February, 2011; Vol 7, Num 9

 

Don’t Drink and Drive on Super Bowl Sunday (or Ever)

Last year, 106 million viewers made the Super Bowl the top-rated telecast of all time, but the Super Bowl isn’t typical of most sporting events on television.

Alternate description

LHSFNA Management
Co-Chairman
Noel C. Borck

“Not everyone who tunes in actually has an interest in the game,” says the LHSFNA’s Management Co-Chairman Noel C. Borck. “For them, socializing, watching the commercials and keeping track of pools are the main attractions. Yet, whether a diehard fan or at the party to be with friends, there is tremendous opportunity for heavy drinking to occur, and it often does.”

Seek Help for Alcohol Abuse

Laborers’ Member Assistance Programs (MAPs) are included in many LIUNA health and welfare plans. Check your summary of benefits.

If a MAP is not available, you may still have substance abuse treatment coverage. Check your summary of benefits.

Alcoholics Anonymous
(212) 870-3400

About Recovery
24-hour helpline for addiction recovery and treatment
1-877-345-3370

National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing System
1-800-HELP (4357)
1-800-622-2255

Al-Anon
(For family and friends of alcoholics)
1-888-425-2666

This earns the Super Bowl yet another distinction: one of the most dangerous of all spectator events. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on Super Bowl Sunday, alcohol-related traffic fatalities increase by 50 percent.

Throughout the year, drunk driving causes approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S., and, on average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes.

If you are unsure whether or not you're over the limit and are thinking of driving, good questions to ask yourself are, "Do I really want to be responsible for killing or injuring someone?" and “What will happen if I get pulled over?”

Chances are that you know people who drink and drive; you may even drink and drive yourself. Usually, everything is fine. However, that does not mean that it is safe or okay. Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. When someone chooses to drink and drive, all it takes is an instant for a devastating outcome. Even if an accident occurs and no one is injured, severe negative consequences to one’s job, relationships and finances can result.

Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable, and there is no reason for anyone to be killed or injured by a drunk driver.

Hosting a Super Bowl party?

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone who consumed alcohol at your party is involved in an alcohol related crash.
  • Make sure your guests designate their sober drivers in advance.
  • Serve lots of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies on hand.
  • Take car keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

Attending a Super Bowl party?

  • Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks from alcohol and alternate with non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys. Better yet, get a ride to a party if you plan to drink.
  • If you do not have a designated driver, call a cab, friend, family member or your community’s Sober Ride program or stay where you are and sleep it off.
  • Don’t ride with someone who has been drinking and do not let that person get behind the wheel.
  • Always buckle up. It is still your best defense against other impaired drivers.

In the construction industry, it is estimated that one in seven workers has a drinking problem. The LHSFNA is committed to helping contractors keep their jobsites safe and free from alcohol (and other drugs) as well as helping LIUNA members who have alcohol or drug problems. The LHSFNA has various educational and program materials available through the Fund’s online catalogue. The Fund also assists in all aspects of drug-free workplace programs, whether it is policy review, employee or management training, implementing testing programs or addressing rehabilitation.

“Do not become a statistic of alcohol abuse,” warns Borck. “On Super Bowl Sunday or on any other day, enjoy yourself, but if you are going to drink, drink responsibly.”

[Janet Lubman Rathner]