Texas DUIs Increase During Football Season
Drinking and driving is a problem nationwide. Texas is no different than any other state. What makes Texas different, however, is football. Football is big in Texas. Unfortunately drinking and driving on game day or after football parties is popular as well. Almost 31 percent of traffic fatalities in Texas involve drunk drivers. Drunk-driving arrests increase by 13 percent during college football home dates.
In 2009, 27,237 driving under the influence (DUI) accidents occurred in Texas. Of these, 6 percent, or 1,547, happened on game days when a Texas team was playing. The problem is not limited to those who attend games. Texas driving fatalities increased 41 percent after the Super Bowl telecast. Not surprisingly, 45 percent of people who watched the Super Bowl at a party reported driving home.
The Texas Department of Transportation is attempting to raise public awareness of this problem among football fans and their families. The idea is to get fans who have had too much to drink to pass their keys to a sober friend. Videos on both Facebook and YouTube encourage fans to "Know When to Pass." Officials will also be using Twitter to get their message to supporters of Texas football teams.
So what can you do if your football experience includes having a cold beer or other alcoholic beverage? The Texas Department of Transportation recommends the following:
• Designate a sober driver if you plan on drinking.
• If you are impaired, don't drive. Call a taxi, use mass transit, call a community safe-ride program, or have a relative or friend pick you up.
• Stay where you are. Get a hotel room for the night.
These suggestions, while perhaps inconvenient or even embarrassing, are much better than the alternative. The penalties for drunk driving are substantial. You can face fines, loss of driving privileges, and criminal charges up to second-degree murder if you are convicted of driving under the influence. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in which you or any of the drivers were driving under the influence of alcohol, contact a DUI attorney in your area.