National sporting events can be a good reason for many to celebrate, and for some, these celebrations involve drinking alcohol. Knowing this, Colorado authorities – including those at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state – regularly join forces to crackdown on impaired driversand limit the risks they present on the roads.
Over the most recent crackdown conducted Super Bowl 50, these efforts reportedly resulted in 276 arrests of allegedly impaired drivers. Although the crash-related data for Colorado over this period is still being collected and analyzed by authorities, it’s quite likely that this data will reveal a surge in crashes (when compared to weekends without such big sporting events) due to the facts that:
- There was a significant increase in the number of impaired motorists on Colorado’s roads.
- Motorists who drive with BACs of 0.08 (the legal limit in Colorado and throughout the U.S.) are at least four times more likely to be in an auto accident (than sober drivers). 1
“We certainly understand that our fellow Broncos fans celebrated the Super Bowl victory responsibly with a few drinks, but there is no excuse for driving impaired,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, CSP Chief stated on February 12, 2016. “Alternative transportation is easily accessible in Colorado, and everyone who chooses to drink should always plan ahead. We want everyone to be around to celebrate during the next Broncos season!”
A Closer Look at Fatal Car Accidents & Impaired Driving
In a given year in the U.S., alcohol impairment causes about 1 in every 3 deadly traffic accidents in the U.S.1 Tragically, this statistics holds true for Colorado as well, as CDOT has reported that about 33 percent of traffic-related deaths that occur each year in the state (or approximately 150 fatalities) are the result of impaired driving.2
During major sporting events and other celebrations, however, this percentage jumps up dramatically for Colorado. For instance, authorities reported in 2012 that, following Super Bowl XLVIII, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes that occurred in Colorado involved at least one drunk driver (i.e., a motorist with a BAC of at least 0.08).
Given that alcohol impairment has been found to at least quadruple motorists’ risk of traffic accidents , correlating more drunk drivers on the road with more traffic accidents (and more fatal crashes) is a fairly easy and logical conclusion to make.
How to Reduce Your Risk of an Impaired Driving Crash during Major Sporting Events (& Other Celebrations)
With many more major sporting events – and national holidays/celebrations – coming up in 2016, knowing how to reduce your risk of being in a drunk driving crash is important. To that end, here are some precautions you can take to celebrate and travel safely – and to minimize your risk of a fatal crash:
- Designate a sober driver before attending any party, and leave your keys at home so that driving is not an option.
- Have a list of phone numbers for taxis or other ride options on hand in case you need a backup plan.
- Plan to stay somewhere for the evening.
- If you can’t find a sober ride or stay somewhere, consider changing your plans (e.g., plan not to drink alcohol or plan to stay home/close to home).
If you host a party, here’s what you can do to reduce your guests’ risk of a deadly crash:
- Serve food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Set a cut off time for alcoholic beverages so that your guests have time to sober up.
- Keep a list of phone numbers for taxi cabs and other ride services.
- Consider allowing some guests to stay over until they are sober enough to drive.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Contact Lakewood Car Accident Lawyer James L. Finegan
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident or any type of traffic collision, call Lakewood Car Accident Lawyer James L. Finegan at 303-586-2691 to find out more about your recovery options during a free, no obligations initial consultation. You can also send our firm an email via the contact form on this page.
1: According to Impaired Driving studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
2: According to CDOT