Have a good game plan

It’s Super Bowl Sunday again, and although neither of our area NFL teams will be playing tonight, we do have a somewhat local connection with one of the contenders – the San Francisco 49ers.

The DeBartolo family of Youngstown owns the 49ers and the team has practiced at Stambaugh Stadium at Youngstown State. For the past two years the 49ers have spent the week in the Youngstown area in between two road games away from the West Coast.

Also, four of the 49ers – Ted Ginn Jr., Alex Boone, Donte Whitner and Larry Grant – played their collegiate football at Ohio State

Whether you support the 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens, or neither one, the Super Bowl is still one of the biggest party days of the year.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants to remind partiers that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk, so please be sure to designate a sober driver if you plan to drink alcohol during the game.

During last year’s Super Bowl, the patrol made 46 OVI-related arrests from Feb. 5, 2012, at 6 a.m. through Feb. 6, 2012, at 6 a.m. During this 24-hour reporting period, there were three fatalities and 193 injuries resulting from traffic crashes. One of the traffic fatalities and 16 of the injuries were from OVI-related crashes.

If you choose to drink during tonight’s game, we hope you’ll keep a few things in mind for a safe Super Bowl Sunday.

If you are attending a party:

*Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself – eat and take breaks, or alternate with non-alcoholic drinks;

*Designate your sober driver before the party starts and give that person your vehicle keys;

*If you become impaired, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. Ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober;

* Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

*Serve lots of food – particularly high-protein dishes – and be sure to include lots of non-alcoholic beverages;

*Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game – and begin serving coffee and dessert;

May the best team win and let’s try to have a safe Super Bowl Sunday.