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Drunk Driving Risks During Football Season

November 10, 2014 | Posted In Drunk Driving - DUI/DWI

For many sports fans, tailgating is a perfect way to celebrate the fall football season.  But DUI attorneys in New Jersey report that when games and tailgating get out of hand, drinking is often shown to be a major part of the problem.  If an individual is not careful, excessive drinking can lead to serious legal consequences, especially if he or she decides to drink and drive. 

A Look at the Correlation Between Drunk Driving and Football

Because football is so popular, and fans have deep loyalties and connections to their home teams and players, emotions can run high throughout a game, especially in games involving controversial or close calls, or games between long-standing rival teams. The risk for drunkenness and reckless behavior increases drastically at such games when fans are more emotionally invested in their teams’ performance. According to a University of Colorado study done several years ago, as more and more people continue to watch football and follow their chosen teams, the crime rate increases both during and after a game.

College football teams were especially prominent in the study. For example, from 1998 to 2006, attendance at college football games jumped from 37.4 million to 47.9 million. Although most college stadiums prohibit the sale of alcohol during their games, tailgating is a college tradition that typically involves students, family members and friends gathering for hours before the game to eat and drink in preparation.

The study also analyzed police reports from 26 college towns during 1,516 college football games. According to the university's findings, those towns had a 13 percent increase in DUI/DWI arrests and a 76 percent increase in liquor law violations and arrests around game time. Additionally, DUI arrests spiked whenever the home team lost, with a 24-percent increase in DUI arrests occurring after a loss, compared with only a 10-percent increase after a win.

Think Before Drinking and Driving

Obviously, drunk driving is never a good idea. But during football season, you may be invited to a football party at a friend's house or asked to tailgate outside the game.  If that happens, you may find yourself in the position of having to find a way back home after a fun afternoon of football and beer. This is far too often the case, according to DUI attorneys in New Jersey, and those who choose to drive put themselves at risk of penalties and sanctions and also endanger the lives of other drivers on the road.

Drunk driving laws impose strict penalties on people who are caught driving while inebriated and even harsher consequences are enacted for those who are under the legal drinking age of 21 at the time. Because college students range in age from 18 to mid-20s, and college football draws a wide range of ages as their fan base, the risk of underage DUI is increased.  New Jersey law mandates that anyone under 21 years of age who is driving after consuming any amount of alcohol,  regardless how slight, will face a mandatory license suspension.  Police are aware of the propensity to drink at ball games, so DUI checkpoints are frequently set up in New Jersey to check all drivers coming from the direction of the ball parks.

At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, a New Jersey law firm, our DUI lawyers represent minors and persons of legal age who are facing drunk driving or disorderly conduct charges this football season. Contact an HCK attorney today to discuss your case.

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