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Be super careful on Super Sunday
The can be penalties for excessive celebration
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 Today is Super Bowl 51 featuring the Atlantam Falcons and the New England Patriots. For many local pro football fans, they will be watching the game on television, as will their favorite teams.

But, Super Sunday is still somewhat of a national holiday and there will be plenty of celebration. It is the second biggest snack day of the year, second only to New Years Eve.

Also similar to New Year’s Eve, there will be a lot of alcohol consumed. So, the Kansas Department of Transportation has a message: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

“The Super Bowl is its own holiday,” said Chris Bortz, KDOT Traffic Safety Manager. “Holidays usually mean lots of eating and drinking. Designate before you celebrate. Don’t let a day of fun turn into a DUI or worse.”

The Kansas initiative is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual campaign. The game plan includes not only planning ahead but also having safe options if someone drops the ball. 

“If you are planning on attending a party to watch the Falcons and Patriots, you should also have a plan to get home safely,” Bortz said. “Drinking and driving is a choice and you need to make the right choice.”

Helping tackle the persistent problem of drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers across the state. Football fans should take personal accountability for having a safe celebration and abiding by traffic laws. 

“Impaired driving is completely preventable,” Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Mark Bruce said. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember it’s a choice: Drink or drive—but never do both.”

Everyone is encouraged to have a game plan as they attend their Super Bowl parties, and use this playbook:

• If you are planning on drinking alcohol, plan ahead not to drive.

• Leave your car keys at home and designate a sober driver.

• Plan to use a cab company, a ridesharing service or carpool. 

• If you are hosting a watch party, designate a team captain to be the designated driver and make sure no one who drives has been drinking. 

• Buckle up, every trip, every time. 

• Remember: You drink. You drive. You lose. 

Dale Hogg