Football season is here. Unfortunately, the beginning of fall football season also launches the three deadliest months of the year for Alabama drunk driving accidents and fatal accidents involving alcohol elsewhere in the United States. The football season will lead us right into Thanksgiving and the year-end holiday season. Our Alabama injury lawyers understand the risks; drinking and driving too often leads to devastating accidents that destroy the lives of both the victims and the defendants.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports someone dies in an alcohol-related traffic accident every 48 minutes in the United States. Nationwide, one-third of all fatal traffic accidents involve a drunk driver, resulting in the deaths of more than 11,000 motorists a year. Alabama drunk driving accidents claimed 325 lives in 2009.
We all know tailgating can be a good time. But the pre-game tailgate parties often increase the risk of post-game drunk driving accidents. A recent study by the University of Minnesota found that nearly half of those leaving a professional baseball or football game had alcohol in their system and nearly 1 in 10 were legally drunk. Those under 35 were most likely to be intoxicated and those who tailgated were 14 times more likely to be drunk, according to Businessweek.
And a study by the University of Colorado found that the popularity of football is growing in this country, which has contributed to an increase in crime rates around game time. Attendance at college football games increased from 37.4 million in 1998 to 47.9 million in 2006. Despite the fact that alcohol sales are prohibited in most all college stadiums, tailgaters typically spend hours drinking before the game.
The study looked at police reports in 26 college towns during and after 1,516 college football games. It found a 13 percent increase in drunk driving arrests, a 41 percent increase in arrests for disorderly conduct and a 76 percent increase in arrests for liquor law violations. And there was evidence that DUIs increased with home-field losses — 24 percent compared to an increase of 10 percent with a win.
An upset win or loss at home had an even more dramatic impact on crime:
-Assaults more than doubled with an upset loss — and increased by 36 percent with an upset victory.
-Vandalism increased by 61 percent with an upset loss at home, compared to 46 percent with an upset win.
-Disorderly conduct arrests more than doubled with an upset loss at home and increased by 93 percent with an upset win.
-DUIs increased by 77 percent with an upset win at home and by 57 percent with an upset loss.