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Why Richmond man is planning sober Super Bowl party

RICHMOND, Va. -- For many folks Super Bowl Sunday means not only watching the big game, but eating lots of yummy snacks and consuming large amounts of beer and alcohol.

But for Marine veteran Chris Lauterbach, who is a recovering alcoholic with three D-U-I convictions, it means planning a different type of party.

"I'm planning this weekend on doing the Sober Super Bowl party,” Lauterbach said.

Lauterbach told WTVR CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones that he got into trouble when he stopped going to meetings.

"What really fell through for me is I... stopped working with a sponsor through Alcoholics Anonymous --and started to go internal and not ask anybody for help,” Lauterbach said.

Chris Lauterbach and WTVR CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones

Chris Lauterbach and WTVR CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones

 

The veteran said his addiction got progressively worse after serving in combat.

"It wasn't just the drinking," Lauterbach said. "It's my own defects of character [and] personality traits. Things I needed to look at in order to basically change.”

For people planning to have a drink at the party, officials urge them not to fumble when it comes to safety.

"People die in alcohol related crashes every 51 minutes in the United States and we know that that spikes whenever there's an event like Super Bowl Sunday,” said Martha Meade with AAA.

Accordingly, Meade said it is critical to plan ahead. Make sure to have a designated driver, call a cab or have an Uber to pick you up.

"It's a tradition in America, but you got to make your tradition to play before you get there," Meade said. "How you're going to get home -- or just don't leave at all. Crash on the couch. Crash on the floor. It's not worth it.”

That is why Lauterbach is part of the growing sobriety movement as he celebrates 100 days sober.

"I feel very good," Lauterbach said. "It's been a rough road.”

Virginia is one of a few states that does not allow crash victims to sue the person who serves a drunk driver.