Millions of Americans go to Super Bowl parties whether or not they care about either of the teams or even know anything about football. For many people, it's about getting together with others and having fun.
It's also one of our heaviest drinking holidays. Television ads leading up to the big day and throughout the game reinforce the notion that nothing goes better with football than beer -- or maybe the whiskey or vodka a celebrity is promoting.
However, nothing can ruin a Super Bowl Sunday like a DUI arrest -- or worse, a DUI-related crash. If you want to drink during the game, it's wise to leave the car at home and catch an Uber or Lyft to and from your destination or rely on someone committed to being the designated driver.
Many people, for all kinds of reasons, don't drink during the Super Bowl. Maybe they gave up alcohol as they started the new year (or earlier). Perhaps they're attending a party with co-workers, and they don't want to take a chance on embarrassing themselves. Maybe they just want to remember the game (and the party) the next day.
Last month, we talked about how to get through holiday parties without drinking. Those tips are all good for Super Bowl parties as well. Here are a few more to help you through a Super Bowl Sunday bash.
Bring along the ingredients for your favorite "mocktail." Offer to make one for designated drivers -- or anyone who's curious about it. If you'd rather not call attention to yourself for not drinking, walk around with the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. No one will know the difference.
If watching everyone else drink becomes difficult, escape to the kitchen and help prepare food or clean up. There's always something to do. If there's too much alcohol in the kitchen, volunteer to help keep the kids occupied or entertain the pets who've been relegated to the bedroom.
Find a clique of people who are actually watching the game. They'll probably be too focused on what's going on in the stadium to notice what you are (or aren't) drinking.
Law enforcement will be out in force on Super Bowl Sunday. If, despite your best intentions, you're arrested for DUI, you could be dealing with the consequences for a long time. It's wise to seek experienced legal guidance.