Pre-season for professional football just kicked off this month, and a new sports bar and grill has opened in Birmingham just in time to accommodate these fans.
Our Birmingham DUI defense lawyers know that while there is nothing illegal about tossing back a few brews during the game, it will put you at higher risk to be pulled over and possible arrested.
A study by the University of Toronto, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discovered a 41 percent increase in the number of fatalities in America both during and after the Super Bowl Sunday broadcast. That statistic has been well-established in analyzing data over the course of the last nearly three decades.
Fatigue and distraction are sometimes factors in those crashes, but authorities say alcohol is the most significant factor.
But it’s not just Superbowl Sunday that presents a heightened risk. A study conducted by the University of Colorado, published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, discovered a 13 percent increase in the number of impaired driving arrests during college football home games.
The new sports bar in Birmingham, the Red Zone, will replace what used to be the Fire & Ice restaurant, and is being marketed as “the ultimate bar and grill.” It is expected to have its hard opening later this month, in time for the first Saturday of the college football season, when Alabama will play Virginia Tech.
The owner worked as a disc jockey at Birmingham radio station 95.7 Jamz FM, and also owns 3000 bar, not far from the Red Zone. The new site will be equipped with 31 large-screen televisions, 20 huge speakers and capacity for 182 inside guests and and a standing-room-only patio.
Alabama high school, college and professional teams will be highlighted throughout the venue, from the walls to the booths to the menu.
And again, our Birmingham DUI lawyers want to stress there is nothing wrong with having a few drinks while you are out with friends watching the game. Our concern is that police, knowing that this is expected to be a popular spot, particularly during football season, will be keeping a close eye as patrons exit the venue.
This will be especially true anytime there are big games with local teams.
Understand that if you are stopped, you do not have indicate where you are coming from (especially if that location was a sports bar) or where you are going. That kind of information could serve to bolster the prosecution’s case against you if you have been drinking.
You also have the right to decline sobriety tests. You can refuse to undergo a breathalyzer test, but understand it will result in a loss of your license. You will have to weigh whether that is the best choice, given your level of intoxication. If you are convicted of a DUI, you might lose it anyway. Refusing to undergo a breathalyzer could give the prosecution less evidence.
All of this said, if you know you are going to be consuming a lot of alcohol while out watching the game, it may be best to plan ahead. Consider:
- Designating a sober driver. Take turns within your group of friends so that no one is left out. Have everyone else pick up the tab for his or her food and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Call a taxi or have a friend or spouse come pick you up. It may cost a few extra dollars more than you were anticipating and your spouse might be a little irked. But it’s going to cost a lot more – and your spouse will be much angrier – if you end up in jail with a DUI.
- Especially if you’re going to be drinking outside, make sure you stay hydrated. Alternating between an alcoholic beverage and water will not only help you keep your intoxication level in check, it will allow you to avoid any heat-related ailments.