A study recently released by the Automobile Club of Southern California found that DUI crashes in California, over a ten year period of time, skyrocketed on Super Bowl Sundays, compared to other holidays in January and February.
The rate of alcohol-related crashes increased by an average of seventy-five percent, compared to other holidays. In the ten years studied, there were 642 alcohol-related fatal crashes on Super Bowl Sunday in California. This is despite the fact that NFL teams based in California participated in only one Super Bowl from 2002 to 2012 (Super Bowl XXXVII, which featured the Oakland Raiders, which was also the only Super Bowl hosted in California in that time frame.)
The study did not include last year’s statistics when the San Francisco 49ers participated.
The findings are not particularly surprising, since Super Bowl Sunday is probably the biggest single-day sporting event in the United States, with a huge boost in sports bar activity, as well as an untold number of parties at other bars and private residences. The study did note that the numbers had risen since a comparable study almost a decade ago. While that could mean that more people are drinking in a less responsible fashion, it could also be the result of related drinking activities starting earlier and ending later.
With Colorado’s increased emphasis on DUI enforcement and the Denver Broncos on stage in the year’s biggest game, fans would be smart to arrange for designated drivers well in advance.