Don’t be a victim of drunk driving during football season

by Tim O’Hare

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The Dallas Cowboys started off the regular season with a bang, beating last year’s Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. This past Sunday, we saw an entirely different team. Regardless of how the Cowboys play this week, one thing is for certain: football season is in full swing.

It is a known fact that Texans love football. From high school to college to the pros, Texas is a football state through and through. One thing many Texans love alongside a great game of football is a great football party. Whether it’s a tailgating party outside the stadium or a watch party at the house, football goes hand-in-hand with food, drink and fun and often includes alcohol, which leads to an increase in drunk driving.

Just as football is big in Texas, drunk driving is also big in Texas. Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths. According to The Century Council, in 2010, there were 1,259 alcohol impaired driving fatalities in Texas. That equates to five drunk driving deaths per 100,000 Texans. While the number of drunk driving deaths have been decreasing in the last decade, 1,259 deaths in one year due to drunk driving is far too many.  For that matter, 1 death is far too many.

It is possible to enjoy a good football game without putting your life in danger. Stay safe at the party and on your way home.

Choose a designated driver. If you’re going to a watch party at a friend’s house or a tailgating party and you plan to consume alcohol, plan ahead and select a designated driver or alternative form of transportation. Before you get to the party, know exactly how you will get home. If you’re hosting a football party and serving alcohol, be sure to provide plenty of nonalcoholic drink options for the designated drivers.

Avoid late night driving. Nobody wants to be the party pooper who leaves the party just before the end of the 4th quarter. But if it means getting home safely, it’s worth it. If you can bear to miss the last few minutes of a game (especially if it’s not an “edge-of-your-seat” kind of game) head home early, and beat the post-game rush.

Drive in the right lane. Sticking to the right lane can save your life from drunk drivers, and wrong-way drivers alike. Often times drunk drivers drift out of their lane or into oncoming traffic. The further you are to the right of the road, the better your chances of avoiding being sideswiped or hit head-on by a drunk driver.

Don’t let the fear of becoming a victim of drunk driving keep you from tailgating or attending a football party at a friend’s house, but plan ahead and make smart choices to keep yourself and others safe.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of drunk driving, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.

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