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Tips for throwing a safe football party

Posted January 09, 2013 in Advice Column

Everyone loves a party with friends to watch the big game — but some take the partying too far. Forty percent of the vehicle-related deaths that occurred after the big game in 2010 were due to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

These suggestions can help hosts and their guests keep the party — and the ride home — safer when the big game takes place this February.

Tips for the home Team
• Serve plenty of food to help offset the effects of alcohol. Salty snacks can make people feel thirsty, so set a pitcher of water on the table as well.
•    Stock coolers with non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and other guests who aren’t drinking.
•    Stop serving alcoholic beverages when the fourth quarter begins.
•    Avoid offering mixed beverages. Some mixers cause the body to absorb alcohol faster, and most make alcohol easier to drink.
•    Reward designated drivers with perks like the prime parking spot or first dibs on seating near the big screen.
•    Limit the number of drinks you yourself enjoy.
•    Help your guests make travel arrangements with a designated driver or taxi. Make sure guests feel comfortable spending the night, if necessary.

Tips for the visiting team
• Leave your keys at home if you plan to drink. Arrange to have a designated driver pick you up and take you home, make plans to stay overnight or plan ahead and input a cab company’s number on your phone.
•    Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
•    Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
•    If you’re sober, keep an eye on friends who are drinking. Don’t be afraid to take away their keys.
•    Extend a kind gesture to your designated driver, such as offering to pay for gas.
•    Watch for drunk drivers during your ride home, and report suspects to the police.
•    Always wear your seatbelt.

Information provided by Mitch Lunn, State Farm Insurance, 616 N, 15th St., Fort Dodge, 576-4171.

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