As Super Bowl fans are gearing up for the gridiron showdown tonight between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers at 6:30 p.m. EST, our Bangor personal injury lawyers are bracing for the inevitable post-game spike in DUI crashes.
NBC News reports that last year, Americans spent more than $1 billion on beer at grocery and convenience stores in the two weeks surrounding the game – an unofficial American holiday. That figure doesn’t even include bars, restaurants, hotels and stadiums.
While the Beer Institute has indicated that isn’t a whole lot higher than what sales might be for any other major sporting event, what they can’t deny is the fact that injuries and deaths in the immediate aftermath of the game spike by between 40 and 70 percent (depending on which study you consult).
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association reported there were 27 deaths linked to alcohol in the wake of the Super Bowl. That’s higher than the average rate of 24 deaths tabulated each year on that day between 1975 and 2001.
Research indicates that accident rates are actually higher for individuals whose team lost the game. In 2003, the University of Toronto analyzed nearly three decades worth of U. . crash data on Super Bowl Sunday, finding that there was an overall 50 percent increase in the crash rate in the hours following the game. However, it was a 6 percent increase in the winner’s state, and nearly a 68 percent increase in the loser’s state.
In the first hour after the game, researchers discovered a 70 percent spike in motor vehicle accidents, regardless of the state.
What’s more, the number of crashes on Super Bowl Sunday was on average 1,000 more than for a typical Sunday any other week of the year.
This is not just anecdotal fluff – it’s real danger and possibility that all fans, hosts and drivers need to take seriously.
In addition to the Russian roulette fans are playing with others’ lives when they get behind the wheel after drinking, they should understand that the average DUI – from the time you see those flashing lights to the time your case is closed – is going to cost you about $10,000. In some cases, it’s even more expensive – not to mention the fact that this blemish will remain on your permanent record and could even prevent you from obtaining certain types of employment.
It’s simply not worth it.
Hosts, too, should recognize their potential liability in serving alcohol to someone who later gets behind the wheel and crashes.
Make sure your guests get home safely. In addition to the wings and the pizza, make this a part of your Super Bowl party checklist:
-Offer your guests plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and food;
-Do not allow anyone under the age of 21 to drink in your home;
-Cut off the booze after the end of the third quarter – just like the stadiums do. Offer more food, coffee, deserts and soda.
-Make sure your guests have a designated driver. If someone appears to too drunk to drive, take their keys away. Either arrange for another ride home or offer to let them stay until they have slept it off.