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Football Season DUI Woes

by | Sep 30, 2013

On the heels of two recent opening-season victories for the Cleveland Browns, the team’s former star quarterback Bernie Kosar was arrested in a suburb of the city for his suspected driving under the influence.

After being stopped shortly before 3 a.n. for speeding, an officer allegedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Kosar is alleged to have failed a series of field sobriety tests before he was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated.

Our D.C. DUI defense attorneys believe that the career-related injuries sustained by the former NFLer can’t be discounted. For example, Kosar has publicly talked about how repeated blows to the head have affected his speech, specifically by resulting in his slurring of words.

The reality is, these cases aren’t always as cut-and-dried as they may initially appear.

Still, we expect to see a rise in DUI cases between the start of football season and New Year’s Eve. It’s estimated that DUI arrests increase by about 50 to 70 percent during home football games, with a 76 percent increase in arrests for underage drinking and other liquor law violations.

A recent study by the University of Colorado revealed that anytime there is a home team loss, vandalism charges spike by more than 60 percent and assaults nearly double.

Of course, football can’t be blamed entirely. There are a number of holidays in between that contribute: Namely, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and, of course, New Year’s Eve.

Here in D.C., fans of the Washington Redskins can either enjoy a few alcoholic beverages at FedEx Field or in one of the many sports bars in and around downtown. For bigger games, it’s not uncommon that we’ll see an uptick in private parties as well, and alcohol is often served as an integral part of the festivities.

What you should know is that local authorities aren’t aloof to the fact that these celebrations are happening. In fact, they typically prepare for them by organizing a combination of concentrated patrols and sometimes even DUI checkpoints in areas they believe have a concentrated potential for drunk drivers.

If you plan to be out and about during or after one of the games, keep that in mind. If you can arrange for a sober driver ahead of time, do so. If you do get pulled over and have been drinking, know that you have the right to politely decline to undergo a field sobriety test. You don’t have to answer any questions about where you are coming from or where you are headed.

If you are placed under arrest, call an attorney as soon as you are able to do so. Don’t delay on this, as there could be critical details that are time-sensitive to your case.

If you plan on hosting a football party this year, you may want to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make sure no minors are being served.
  • Don’t encourage binge drinking. Offer plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages, in addition to the beers and liquors.
  • Plan ahead for drunk guests. Make sure they can either stay at your place or you can arrange a sober ride home for them.

If you are facing DUI charges in D.C., contact the Scrofano Law, PC at 202-765-3175.