Celebrate safely this Super Bowl Sunday

Today is the big game, Super Bowl XLVIII – pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Broncos.

It’s the most anticipated sporting event of the year, attracts the largest television audience, and hauls in the largest quantity of cash, gambling-wise, than any other happening.

There are parties. There is food. There is alcohol. There is happiness. Excitement. Joy. And there is anger. Frustration. Disappointment.

Many people will get caught up in the emotion that is the game. Some fans may take it a bit too far. Some may be in it only for the party atmosphere.

No matter the situation, we urge everyone who will be “partying,” to take it easy today. You don’t need that extra drink.

Above all, don’t drive if you plan on drinking alcohol. Put a plan in place so you find a safe way home. Designate a sober driver. Call a taxi. As usual, always buckle up – it’s the best defense against impaired drivers.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be out in force Sunday. Last year during a 24-hour period from 6 a.m. Super Bowl Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday, the Patrol made 63 OVI arrests. There were three fatalities and 209 injuries resulting from traffic accidents during that time. Of the fatalities, one was OVI-related, as was 34 of the injuries.

“While we want people to enjoy the big game, we want them to do so responsibly,” says John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public safety. “We want everyone to take the appropriate steps to ensure they get home safely.”

According to the Patrol, more than 99 local law enforcement agencies around the state will be providing extra enforcement on Super Bowl Sunday, funded by federal grants provided through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office.

You have been warned.