The link between college football culture and DUIs in Louisiana

 In DUI/DWI

No state loves college football more than Louisiana. Stadiums across the state are filled to the brim on game day with fans rooting passionately for their teams. Unfortunately, football celebrations seem to increase incidents of drunk driving here and in other areas of the country.

 

If you were arrested and charged for driving under the influence, get in touch with a Lake Charles DUI lawyer with The Johnson Firm as soon as possible. The long-term consequences of a DUI are simply too high not to get the best representation possible. 

Contact us online or call (337) 433-1414 to schedule your consultation and to learn more about how we may be able to help you. 

What the research shows

Whether it’s at the game or watching the game at home, a friend’s house, or a bar, drinking is a tradition that has been ingrained in the college football culture for decades. It’s even evident in the beer ads during the game.  The link between college football and an increased risk for an alcohol-related offense such as DUI can’t be denied, and it’s supported by research. 

Researchers at the National Library of Medicine conducted a study of alcohol-related arrests at a major university in three separate categories: 10 college football Saturdays, 10 holidays, and 10 Saturdays where there weren’t any football games–the “control” days. According to the results, out of 944 total arrests:

  • 703 arrests were on the 10 surveyed college football days for an average of 70.3 per Saturday gameday;
  • 123 were on the 10 Saturdays surrounding holidays (an average of 12.3 per day); and
  • 118 arrests were on the control days for an average of 11.8 per studied Saturday.

There was nearly a 496% increase in alcohol-related arrests on game days compared to the control days. With those statistics, it’s difficult not to see the correlation between football and drinking-related offenses like DUIs.

Penalties for DUI in Louisiana

The penalties of a DUI conviction are severe and often follow you for the rest of your life. Here’s a quick look at the penalties for first, second, and third offense DUI convictions. Though they can be different based on the charge and conviction, such as if someone was injured or if there was property damage.

football drunk driving arrest

Additional penalties will be added to each level of offense based on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest.

First offense (misdemeanor)

  • Imprisonment: 10 days to 6 months
  • Fine: $300 to $1,000
  • License suspension for up to one year
  • Probation may be ordered for up to two years
  • Either 32 hours of community service or 48 hours in jail 
  • Classes: Driver improvement program and you will be evaluated for substance abuse and will need to complete any recommended treatment or classes.
  • BAC Enhancements:
    • BAC over 0.15% mandates that an additional 48 hours of a jail sentence can’t be suspended or waived by the court
    • BAC over 0.20% carries an increased fine of $750 to $1,000, 48 hours of mandatory jail time, and an ignition interlock device will be installed in your car for the first 12 months of the mandatory 2 year driver’s license suspension.

Second offense (misdemeanor)

  • Imprisonment: 30 days to 6 months, but 48 hours must be served in jail
  • Fine: $750 to $1,000
  • License suspension for up to two years
  • Probation may be ordered for up to two years and may include 15 days in jail or
  • 240 hours of community service 
  • Classes: Driver improvement program and you will be evaluated for substance abuse and will need to complete any recommended treatment or classes.
  • Ignition interlock device shall be ordered for use in your car for at a minimum 6 months from date of conviction and during term of driver’s license suspension.
  • BAC Enhancements:
    • If your BAC is over 0.15%, then at least 96 hours of the jail sentence must be served
    • A BAC over 0.20% carries an increased fine of $1,000, 96 hours of mandatory jail time, license suspension for four years, and an ignition interlock device will be installed in your car for at least three years

Third offense (felony)

  • Imprisonment: 1 to 5 years, but at minimum one year must be served
  • Fine: $2,000
  • License suspension for up to two years
  • Probation may be ordered for up to five years which will begin following the release from prison
  • 240 hours of community service 
  • Classes and Treatment: Completion of four weeks inpatient treatment plus up to 12 months of out-patient treatment
  • Ignition interlock device will be required for the duration of probation
  • Your vehicle may be forfeited to the state and can even then be sold 

Tips for avoiding a DUI after a college football game

As tempting as it might be to drink during a college football game, the risks simply aren’t worth it because in addition to facing extremely harsh penalties, you could hurt yourself or someone else. Here are a few tips to reduce your chances of getting a DUI: 

  • Don’t drive – have a designated driver or use a rideshare app. 
  • If you must drive, wait until enough time has passed to ensure that you’re sober.

Additional tips for safe drinking 

  • Hydrate – get and stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking water or low-sugar electrolyte beverages.
  • Eat before and while drinking – never have any alcohol on an empty stomach, and eat while you’re drinking to help as your body metabolizes the alcohol.

Arrested for DUI? Call The Johnson Firm immediately

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, call a Lake Charles DUI lawyer right away because early assistance from an experienced lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. 

To schedule your consultation with The Johnson Firm, contact us online or call (337) 433-1414.

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