FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -This Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots will meet in Houston, Texas for the most anticipated football game of the year: Super Bowl LI. Whether you’re gathering at someone’s home for a party or watching the game at a restaurant or bar, AAA urges fans to plan ahead by designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation.

“The Super Bowl is one of the biggest and most entertaining national sporting events,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs and government relations for AAA Northeast. “But because of impaired driving, it’s also one of the most dangerous days to be on the road. With a little planning, people can keep the celebration fun and safe.”

In New Jersey, a driver is considered legally intoxicated when his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher, but judgment and reasoning – skills vital to safe driving – are diminished at even lower BAC levels, which can be achieved by just one or two drinks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,265 people were killed in crashes involving an impaired driving in 2015.

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AAA offers these tips for party hosts and partygoers:

If you’re hosting a party:

Serve plenty of food and have non-alcoholic beverages available for drivers

Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter and begin serving coffee and dessert

Take note of who’s at the party, who drives and who drinks, and who is most likely to mix the two

Have the numbers of local cab companies handy. Collect the keys of anyone who is thinking about driving impaired and, most important, never allow and impaired guest to drive home.

Remember that you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone leaving your home is involved in an alcohol-impaired crash. Be a prepared host and ensure that each guest has a safe way of getting home before alcohol is served.

 

If you’re attending a party:

Avoid drinking too much alcohol and pace yourself – eat plenty of food, alternate alcoholic drinks with water and other non-alcoholic beverages, and take breaks between drinks.

Designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.

Have an alternate transportation plan, like a ride-sharing program or a cab

Always buckle up – it’s your best defense against other impaired drivers.

 

Mock-tail Recipes

Falcon Fizz (serves 12-15)

Mix 20oz. cranberry juice, 4oz. Rose’s lime juice, 10oz. ginger ale and 6 tsp. sugar in a punch bowl. Add ice cubes and garnish with orange slices.

Patriot Punch (serves 1)

Blend 1oz. grenadine, 3oz. cranberry juice, 3oz. orange juice, 2oz. pineapple juice and 2oz. piña colada mix. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple.

First-Down Refresher (serves 2)

Combine 16oz. grapefruit juice and 4oz. lime juice and divide evenly into two 14oz. glasses filled with ice. Fill glasses with club soda. Squeeze lime wedge over glass and drop in.

Regardless of where you’re watching the game, always plan ahead. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers an app, SaferRide, for Android and Apple devices. Through the app, users can find a local taxi company, call a friend and use GPS to identify the location where they can be picked up. The app is available in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

AAA Northeast in New Jersey provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to its nearly 400,000 members in Essex, Morris and Union Counties.