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Washington, D.C. Drunk Driving Charges a Gameday Risk

by | Sep 13, 2011

The start of the college and pro football seasons increases the risk of a DUI arrest in Washington D.C. for everyone, but particularly for those who attend games to cheer on their favorite team. In many cases, authorities will be conducting sobriety checkpoints. In other cases, saturation patrols or increased enforcement will be focused on stopping motorists and charging them with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Charges that result from such increased enforcement are often beatable; a D.C. DUI defense attorney should be consulted to discuss your options.

Whether you are still in college or have long since joined the workforce, keeping a drunk driving conviction off your record is critical to protecting your rights to drive, your freedom and your livelihood. Whether charged as a misdemeanor or felony, the outsized penalties for a DUI increase with each passing year. And, with talk of lowering the legal limit from .08, keeping a first conviction off your record is vital; there is no easier way to get stopped and charged with a subsequent offense than having a DUI conviction on your driving record. And as a student a DUI conviction can impact scholarships and financial aid, make it difficult to join the military or enter certain professions, and may even prevent you from obtaining some occupations licenses.

Studies continue to show a strong correlations between live sporting events, particularly football, and an increase in arrests for DUI and other alcohol-related charges, including underage consumption and disorderly conduct. One thing is certain: Local law enforcement has taken notice and, let’s face it, standing around collecting overtime to bust revelers at a football game is not bad work if you can get it.

Studies suggest close games and upset wins and losses may be most likely to result in an increase in arrests. The University of Minnesota reported nearly 1 in 10 attendants leaving a pro football game were legally intoxicated and about half tested positive for alcohol consumption. Those under the age of 35 were most likely to be intoxicated and those who participated in tailgate activities were 14 times more likely to be legally drunk.

Meanwhile, a study of college football and crime rates conducted by the University of Colorado found close games increased the risk of drunk driving, disorderly conduct and other charges. and regardless of the score, there was a 13 percent increase in drunk driving arrests, a 76 percent increase in charges of underage drinking and other liquor law violations and a 41 percent increase in arrests for disorderly conduct.

Dramatic upsets at home presented some of the largest increases in arrests — particularly if the home team lost:

-Charges of disorderly conduct more than doubled with a loss and nearly doubled with a win.

-Drunk driving charges increased by 77 percent with a win and 57 percent with a loss.

-The number of vandalism charges jumped 61 percent with a loss and 46 percent with a win.

-Instances of assault doubled with a loss and increased by about one-third with a win.

If you are charged with drunk drivingnon D.C. or are facing an alcohol violation, contact the Law Office of Joseph Scrofano PLLC for a consultation. Call 202-765-3175 or fill out our online contact form. Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted.