Feb. 10, 2022 - Although New Orleans’ NFL team didn’t make it to the big game again this year, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any Louisiana Saints involved in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.

Whether you’re pulling for former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals or the Los Angeles Rams to win, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission wants everyone to think “Next Fan Up” when it comes to drinking and driving. If you see a friend who’s been drinking, make sure they have access to a safe ride home.

“Super Bowl parties are an annual cultural event, and with TV coverage beginning six hours before the game even starts, that’s a lot of time for people to consume a lot of alcohol,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. “We’re asking everyone to be a good teammate and adopt the 'Next Fan Up' mindset if they see someone who’s celebrating with alcohol.”

2020 data from the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at LSU show that two out of five motor vehicle fatalities in Louisiana were alcohol-related. The statistics show that 828 people died in crashes on Louisiana roads in 2020; 332 of those lives were lost in a motor vehicle crash in which a driver had been drinking.

“So many lives in our state can be saved if more people volunteered to be a designated driver,” Freeman said. “Being a designated driver doesn’t mean missing out on the fun. It means you’re a good friend, neighbor, teammate, or coworker. It means you’re the ‘Next Fan Up.’ It means you may be the saint who saves someone’s life.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has other tips to keep everyone safe on the road:

  • If you have been drinking alcohol, find a sober driver or a ride service to get home safely. 
  • If you’re hosting a party, make sure to offer non-alcoholic beverage alternatives along with food.
  • If you see something, say something. Contact your local law enforcement agency to report unsafe driving behavior.