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Do Denver Broncos games lead to more drunk driving?

It's no secret that people like to drink when they go to Denver Broncos football games. You can buy beer in the stands without ever leaving your seat. Alcohol advertisements show up everywhere around a game. While drinking in the stadium may get expensive, people still do it.

At the same time, a lot of drinking happens around the games. Fans come to tailgate before kickoff and drink outside. Others go to local bars to drink and watch the game even when they do not have tickets. It feels like every weekend with a home game is basically a holiday, and people definitely enjoy it.

Does this naturally lead to more drunk driving? All those fans at the game or the bar have to go home eventually. Only so many use Uber and designated drivers.

What have studies shown?

Studies into this topic have produced some conflicting results. To start with, one study looked at deadly crashes after Super Bowls. It found a notable increase. Those who did the study blamed driver fatigue and drunk driving. Drunk, tired drivers caused numerous accidents.

However, another study looked at deadly crashes on days with home games, trying to see if this impact could be seen every Sunday in the fall. It found "no association between NFL home games and traffic fatalities for the ten-year period" that researchers studied. While this does not mean DUI arrests and accidents didn't happen, researchers did not see the elevated levels suggesting that far more people drove drunk.

It is important to note that this study also looked at deadly crashes, not DUI arrests or minor accidents. One theory is that the heavy traffic after a Broncos game slows everyone down. While drunk drivers may still crash in that traffic jam, these accidents are less likely to lead to fatalities at 15 miles per hour than they would be at 75 miles per hour.

Another theory is that the stadium filled up to capacity during the game. So did the bars and establishments all over the city. This drastically decreased the number of drivers on the roads for four hours. People who get drunk at the game do not become drunk drivers until it ends. Therefore, a spike in DUI incidents and fatal accidents after the game could get hidden in terms of daily totals because of the decline in the same issues before and during the game.

What to do after a DUI arrest

If you do get arrested for driving under the influence after a football game, make sure you know all of your legal rights. You deserve a fair trial, and you must know what steps to take.

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Do Denver Broncos games lead to more drunk driving? | Martin & Reed, LLC