JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – AMR paramedics, along with the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, want drivers to stay safe during the Super Bowl weekend.
In a joint statement, AMR spokesman Jim Pollard and MHRA executive director Pat Fontaine said, “Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest days for drinking beer and liquor. Parties can start long before kickoff and last beyond the game’s end. Those facts can be a recipe for tragedy.”
AMR and MHRA urges party hosts to make certain guests don’t get drunk and drive.
Here are some tips for party hosts below:
- Never invite guests by saying your group plans to drink a great deal.
- Limit your own alcohol intake so you can determine whether guests are fit to drive and take steps to stop impaired guests from driving.
- Identify designated drivers right as couples or groups arrive. Point out: A designated driver isn’t one who drinks the least alcohol, but one who drinks zero alcohol. Reward designated drivers with a choice seat at the TV or first pass at the buffet. Take the keys from designated drivers. When you hand keys back as groups depart, double-check the designated drivers’ sobriety. Give them a glass with a color different from all other guests. The glass will remind designated drivers not to drink and other guests not to give them alcohol.
- If a guest has come alone and drinks alcohol, make a firm plan on how he or she gets home.
- Do not pressure guests to drink. There’s a big difference between “Would you like something to drink?” compared to “Come on, have a drink!”
- Provide a bartender so guests don’t over-serve themselves. Limit servings of alcohol by keeping glasses filled with ice. Don’t rush to refill guests’ glasses with alcohol.
- Put non-alcoholic drinks in the same place as the alcohol, displayed just as prominently.
- Serve lots of food. Provide water and juice plus “mocktails.” Mocktails are mixed drinks without alcohol in them. A “virgin” Bloody Mary looks and tastes much like the real thing. Visit www.allrecipes.com has dozens for mocktail recipes.
- Except for the designated drivers, serve all beverages in the same size and shape glass. That way, those who aren’t drinking alcohol won’t feel or look different.
- Do not allow drinking contests. Ask your guests who are drinking to pace themselves, eat plenty of food and alternate alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Never serve alcohol to anyone less than 21 years of age. It’s illegal and has big penalties.
- If someone shows up drunk or gets drunk, tell the guest he or she has drunk too much and alcohol is off limits. Take the guest aside and offer a place to sleep it off. If another guest is a close friend of the intoxicated person, ask that other guest to help.
- Prevent falls by clearing walkways, stairs and porches and by providing adequate lighting.
- “WUI” (walking under the influence) can lead to serious injuries.
- Follow the example of numerous NFL stadiums and stop serving alcohol when the second half starts. Begin serving coffee and dessert. Remember, coffee does not restore sobriety.
- Never let anyone drive who has drunk any alcohol at all, no matter how little. Take the keys. Call a cab. Encourage the guest to stay overnight. Don’t let drunk guests out of your sight.
- As guests leave, help the designated drivers buckle up every passenger. Buckling up protects occupants from other drivers who may be intoxicated.