If you’re gearing up for the big game, you may have to answer for more than a friendly bet on the champs this year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cautions hosts of Super Bowl parties that they can be held liable and even prosecuted for contributing to a drunk driving death in KY.

According to NHTSA records, as much as 40 percent of all fatal crashes on Super Bowl Sunday in 2010 were drunk driving offenses, with alcohol playing a role in a fatal accident every 52 minutes. This puts Super Bowl Sunday on par with some of the more well-known drinking holidays of the year—including Thanksgiving Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Halloween.

The reason for the increase in crashes seems to be linked to all-day-drinking. Tailgating and pre-game parties typically begin in the mid-afternoon and extend well into the night, flooding the roads with drivers who have been drinking for several hours. And it’s not just after the game that the roads are treacherous—partygoers hopping from living room to living room or going on midday beer runs stretch out potential accidents into a 24-hour period.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of over-serving your guests, including:

  • Plan rides – Ask your friends about their travel plans before the drinking begins, coordinating carpools with other guests.
  • Celebrate sobriety – Reward designated drivers with door prizes, their favorite sodas, or gift cards.
  • Snacks and subs – Make sure you have enough food on hand so that no guest will drink on an empty stomach.
  • Monitor beer runs – Only allow guests who haven’t been drinking to go out for more beverages.
  • Last call – Stop serving alcohol to all guests at the end of the third quarter of the game, offering coffee or dessert instead.
  • Speak up – A good host will be gracious even when the party’s over. Offer a ride (if you’re sober), the number of a cab service, or your sofa to a friend who has had too much—if they refuse, take their keys.

Remember: not all party hosts will be so gracious this year, so you may wish to send your friends a link to this article on Facebook, Twitter or email to remind them to stay safe on the roads during the game.

Our attorneys know that there is no pain like having someone you love killed in a KY drunk driving crash, and getting justice for your loved one is a hard and frustrating path. For more information on over-serving and liability for a drunk driving death, call Gray and White today at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, private case evaluation.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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