Drinking is a part of football culture for spectators. While not all football fans consume alcohol while watching their favorite team play, many do - and some may choose to get behind the wheel after drinking too much. This can lead to an increased risk of car accidents when drivers make irresponsible choices.
Facts About Football and Drinking
Drivers across Massachusetts need to understand some of the risks they face on football game days as a result of alcohol use.
Whether the New England Patriots are playing down I-95 at Gillette Stadium or you're watching the big game at a bar or friend's house, the dangers are the same: football fans may consume alcohol and get behind the wheel, presenting a risk to drivers in Boston and throughout the state.
Knowing the stats about football game days and impaired driving can help motorists and football fans to make smart choices for how to stay safe. Some of the key facts motorists in Boston should know about football and drinking include the following:
- Football fans may leave the stadium drunk after watching the game. One out of 12 spectators are legally intoxicated by end of the football game, according to ABC. Fans under 35 are eight times as likely to be impaired as older fans. Tailgaters - who may begin consuming alcohol hours before the game - are 14 times as likely to be drunk. These intoxicated fans who get behind the wheel could cause serious injuries or fatalities.
- DUI arrests are higher on days when there are football games. In one report prepared by a state Department of Transportation, there were 13 percent more arrests of impaired drivers on days when football games happened, compared with other days.
- Drinking a lot is common during games. The Department of Transportation report showed 45 percent of people watching a football game had three drinks or more. Research reported on by ABC found one in four tailgaters admitting to having five or more drinks, with some tailgaters having as many as 6.6 drinks. It is considered binge drinking to have more than five drinks in a sitting, so many of these fans are well over the limit blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08 by the time a game has ended.
Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents During Football Season
Understanding the reality of drinking and football allows fans to take the necessary steps to prevent drunk driving on game day. It is recommended that fans who plan on consuming alcohol plan to have a designated driver, call a sober friend or use public transportation - such as a bus or taxi cab - to safely return home.
Furthermore, other motorists can be more cautious to look out for impaired drivers on Massachusetts roads and can ensure they contact the police if they see someone who they believe is intoxicated.