As the Baltimore Ravens prepare to face off against the San Francisco 49ers today in the Super Bowl XLVII tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST, New York State Police have announced they will be out in full-force in the form of saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints.
Last year, state troopers handed out nearly 1,800 tickets and made more than a dozen DWI arrests. Unfortunately, our New York City car accident lawyers know they won’t catch everyone.
Every year on Super Bowl Sunday, the number of alcohol-related crashes spikes, in some cases by as much as 70 percent, particularly in the first hour after the end of the game.
This is no shocker when you consider that Americans last year spent more than $1 billion stocking up on beer from convenience and grocery stores in preparation for the game. That doesn’t even count the consumption of beer at sports bars and restaurants, nor does it take into consideration the sales of liquor, wine and other alcoholic beverages.
The University of Toronto conducted a study a few years back, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looking at U.S. crash statistics on Super Bowl Sundays dating back three decades. While they noted a 10 percent decline in the number of wrecks while the game was on, the first hour after the game typically saw a 70 percent spike. Overall throughout the day, crashes were about 40 percent higher on Super Bowl Sunday than on an average Sunday, and resulted in about 1,000 more crashes and 46 percent more injuries.
Even fans who aren’t drinking may pose a risk behind the wheel, according to officials with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In the immediate aftermath of the game, they say fans are distracted by replaying the highlights in their head – or talking/texting it about it to their friends. As we’ve seen in our experience, any distraction behind the wheel has the potential to be deadly.
Even those intoxicated drivers who don’t wind up injuring anyone should consider that if they are caught, they stand to shell out upwards of $10,000 for a DUI arrest, once you factor in court costs, attorneys’ fees, traffic school, probation and higher rates for auto insurance, according to Bankrate.com. Not to mention, that DUI will remain on your permanent record, and could result in your not being able to land certain types of employment.
Hosts of Super Bowl festivities need to be aware of the potential risk they assume if someone to whom they serve alcohol is either underage or gets behind the wheel and crashes. Dram Shop laws mean you could be held at least partially responsible.
That’s why it’s so important to make DUI prevention a part of your game plan. Consider the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s recommendations for being a smart Super Bowl party host:
- Check with everyone to make sure they have a designated driver lined up before the game starts;
- Make sure your menu includes lots of food and non-alcoholic beverages too;
- Take a queue from the stadiums and stop serving alcohol after the third quarter;
- Write down a list of phone numbers for local cab companies and keep them handy in case you need them.
- Don’t hesitate to take the keys of anyone who appears to drunk to drive. Even if they are angry about it now, you could be saving lives – maybe even theirs.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
NY state police target Super Bowl weekend DWI, Jan. 31, 2013, Associated Press