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Root for the Home Team Responsibly – Reduce Risks of Drunk Driving Accidents in Alabama

Sep 14, 2012 - Drunk Driving Accidents by

As Yahoo! Sports reports, nothing less than an undefeated season and a national championship will do for the Crimson Tide.

However, it’s unlikely that fans of the Auburn or the Troy Trojans will be outdone when it comes to weekend tailgate parties and cheering their teams to victory. CBS Sports reports Troy’s winning percentage at home has topped 80 percent since 2007.

Injury attorneys in Tuscaloosa and throughout Alabama encourage you to celebrate responsibly. The beginning of the college and pro football seasons typically results in an increase in the number of serious and fatal drunk driving accidents. And, with the trio of year-end holidays just around the corner, it’s an important time to renew your commitment to celebrating responsibly — and that includes finding a sober ride home.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that one-third of the nation’s fatal accidents involve alcohol. In 2010, more than 10,000 motorists were killed in accidents involving at least one driver who was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Drunk driving accidents in Alabama claimed 314 lives. A total of 862 motorists died on the state’s roads that year.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving kicked off September by announcing its third year of a partnership with the National Football League, which aims to remind fans to “play the most important position in the NFL–the designated driver!” The partnership will put MADD booths in many NFL stadiums this year, and includes parking lot messaging urging motorists to stay safe and not drink and drive.

For the past several years, the focus has been on drunk-driving prevention among tailgaters. A study by the University of Colorado found attendance at college football games has increased by 10 million in the last decade. This year, more than 48 million fans plan to attend a game. A look at police reports on game day in 26 college towns found a 13 percent increase in drunk-driving arrests and a 76 percent increase in alcohol violations. The number of DUI arrests increased with a home loss. Either an upset win or loss at home proved most dangerous.

Still, you don’t have to attend a game to be at increased risk. Many fans will gather around the television every weekend this fall at private football parties. Being a responsible host can make a difference.

  • Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and food
  • Stop serving alcohol before the end of the game
  • Have a cab fare fund and the number of a taxi service
  • Encourage attendees to have a plan if they plan to drink, and
  • Never serve alcohol to underage guests

The legal limit for drunk driving in Alabama is .08 for adults and just .02 for those under the age of 21. Those convicted of a first offense face jail time of up to 1 year and a 90-day suspension of their driver’s license. A normal adult male will be too drunk to drive after four beers, four shots of alcohol or four glasses of wine. A female will reach that limit after consuming about 3 drinks.

The body will metabolize approximately one drink per hour.

Additional Resources:

-Alabama Department of Public Safety to inspect passenger carriers at Space and Rocket Center, By Chris Welch, The Huntsville Times, Aug. 13, 2012.

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