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DUIs increased 40 percent last time the Broncos were in the Super Bowl

There is nothing better than having your favorite team in the Super Bowl, led by a surefire hall of fame quarterback and a stifling defense. This Sunday will be a great time to get together with friends and family and watch the game.

But people need to be careful out on the roads this weekend. It is easy to get carried away and have a few too many drinks at a Super Bowl party, especially with the excitement surrounding the Broncos as they head into their matchup with the Panthers. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating a big event like the Super Bowl, failing to plan ahead for a sober ride home can lead to devastating consequences.

The risk is significant. Do not drive drunk.

There are many reasons to avoid drinking and driving on Super Bowl weekend. Crashes related to alcohol consumption increase dramatically on game day, and such accidents often include serious injury or death. Approximately one-third of all fatal crashes in the U.S. involve alcohol. A MADD study from 2014 found that number increases to 43 percent on Super Bowl Sunday.

In 2014, the last time the Broncos were in the Super Bowl, 43 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Denver alone. These numbers make Super Bowl Sunday one of the deadliest days of the year on the road.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, as quoted by ABC affiliate 7NEWS Denver, state troopers will be targeting likely "problem areas" throughout Denver in both marked and unmarked cars this Sunday. The number of arrests on suspicion of drunk driving is expected to be significant.

Will 2016 be a repeat of 2014?

Denver law enforcement has been cracking down on driving impaired on Super Bowl Sunday for years. During the Super Bowl in 2015, 234 people were arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. In 2014, when the Broncos played the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, the number of people arrested for DUI increased by 40 percent, up to 327.

The bottom line is that it is not worth the risk to drive drunk. Hopefully, the number of drunk drivers on the road will decrease this year. Calling a cab, planning ahead or getting a sober ride can save lives and avoid significant criminal consequences.

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