HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Festivities for Sunday’s big game are fast approaching with scores of people making plans as to where to watch and what they will eat and drink.
"This region, especially, is going to be pretty excited about the Chiefs getting back to the championship game," said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. "A lot of people will be watching the Super Bowl, whether it's at home or at a friend's house or at a sports bar. We just want to remind people, I think it's pretty self-evident, that impaired driving is a big issue this weekend."
AAA Kansas advises party planners and football fans to prepare by designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation options before the party starts.
"If you're a partygoer, if you plan to drive, don't drink," Steward said. "If you plan to drink, make sure that you have a 100% sober ride home. Whether that's a friend, a ride share, a cab, whatever it takes to get you home safely."
Every day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes – that’s one person every 39 minutes.
"If you're hosting a party, make sure that you're offering food and non-alcoholic beverages," Steward said. "Make sure that your guests are arranging safe rides home after the party, so you don't have that on your conscience."
The Kansas Department of Transportation tracks crash statistics for the 78-hour period (Fri.-Mon.) surrounding the football championship game each year. During this reporting period, from 2019 to 2022, alcohol-related crashes have risen each year, with alcohol playing a factor in one-third of the traffic fatalities.