The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is already noting the importance of football season on its website and is stressing its “Drive Sober. No Regrets.” statewide impaired driving campaign. TxDOT states that the campaign is hoping to reduce the number of driving while intoxicated (DWI)-related traffic crashes on football game days when a college or professional team in Texas is playing.
TxDOT also notes that too many people on game days tend to choose the “least drunk” member of a group during game days when designated drivers should always be people who are completely sober and have not consumed any amount of alcohol. In addition to designating a sober driver beforehand, TxDOT also recommends people call a taxi, use a rideshare service, stay where they are, call a friend or family member, or use some form of mass transit.
The TxDOT website features links to videos featuring Richie Griffin, who crashed into a home when he got behind the wheel drunk after a night of drinking at a friend’s house in Austin, Pam Todaro, who lost her 25-year-old son Dillon Davis in 2014 when he crashed his vehicle while having a blood alcohol level of 0.16, and Andres Contreras, who speaks about the consequences he faced after being arrested for DWI. The link between football season and criminal activity seems to be high.
In 2008, a study of six football seasons from 2000 to 2005 by Daniel I. Rees, Ph.D., associate professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, and Kevin T. Schnepel, a graduate student in the economics program at UC Denver, found that a host community experiences an average of a nine percent increase in assaults on game days as well as an increase in vandalism, arrests for disorderly conduct, and alcohol-related arrests. The study examined daily offense data from 26 police agencies located in communities where a Division I-A college football team was playing its home games.
Home games were associated with a 9 percent increase in assaults, an 18 percent increase in vandalism, a 13 percent increase in arrests for drunk driving, a 41 percent increase in arrests for disorderly conduct, and a 76 percent increase in arrests for liquor law violations. The largest estimated effects are related to when an upset occurs, such as when an unranked team beats a ranked team or when a lower-ranked team beats a higher-ranked team.
The study found that assaults increased by 112 percent with an upset loss at home and 36 percent with an upset victory. For a typical police agency, this translated to an additional 6.7 reports of assaults for upset losses and an additional 2.2 reports of assaults for upset wins.
Of course, college football is not the only major event on the calendar this time of year as Labor Day looms on September 5. Multiple agencies are already increasing their DWI enforcement efforts for that holiday as well.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that TxDOT was working with law enforcement officers throughout the state to increase efforts to identify and arrest drunk drivers in the weeks and days leading up to the Labor Day holiday weekend from August 19 to September 5. According to the Telegraph, November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways, and the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX is asking all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.
Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has gotten in on the Labor Day drunk driving prevention efforts, stating that one person was killed every 45 minutes in an impaired-driving crash in the United States in 2020. NHTSA said it kicked off its $13 million annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day enforcement campaign that will use a combination of television, radio, digital, social media, and billboard advertisements to educate drivers about the dangers of impaired driving.
Just like the TxDOT campaign, NHTSA is having law enforcement officers work with their communities from the same August 19 through September 5 dates to prevent and stop impaired driving. NHTSA reported that its data showed that 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020 involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
Among those fatalities, 67 percent were car crashes in which at least one driver had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher. NHTSA states that, on average, over 10,000 people were killed every year between 2018 and 2020, with one person being killed in an alcohol-impaired driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020.
There has been no shortage of DWI arrests recently in the Dallas area. The Dallas Morning News reported on August 25 that a Fort Worth police officer was arrested on a DWI charge after driving his car off the road and marked at least the fourth arrest of a Fort Worth police officer in as many months.
KDFW-TV reported on August 8 that a man accused of being under the influence when he crashed into a White Settlement home and killed a high school student and injured her parents was previously convicted of DWI three times. The man had two previous convictions for DWI in central Florida in 1983 and another conviction in the metro-Atlanta area in 1995. He is now facing charges of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
This past June, KDFW also reported that the Arlington Police Department was saying that a Dallas police officer was facing a DWI charge when he was discharged from the hospital after crashing his pickup into a tree. The Arlington Police Department said that just before 1 a.m. on June 16 officers were summoned to the 6900 block of Russell Curry Road where a white Dodge Ram pickup had departed the roadway and crashed into a tree.
The pickup driver was 48-year-old Michael Patino, who was seriously injured and airlifted to an area hospital. Based on their investigation, Arlington police said officers believed alcohol was a factor in the crash and Patino would be charged with DWI once he was out of the hospital.
The Dallas Police Department said Patino is a sergeant assigned to the Love Field Unit’s Special Operations Division and had been with the department since February 1998. Patino was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation.
Defending Against DWI Charges
When you are facing any kind of DWI charges in Dallas, you are going to want to be sure that you have legal representation before you make your first appearance in court. DWI arrests can involve serious penalties, but having a lawyer on your side will give you the best chance to determine defenses you might have that could lead to criminal charges being reduced or dismissed.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy handles all kinds of DWI cases, from first DWI arrests to second arrests to third or subsequent arrests. We also help defend people accused of many DWI-related crimes.
Intoxication assault is the charge when an alleged offender is accused of causing serious bodily injury to another person as a result of driving while intoxicated. If a person commits a DWI and causes the death of another person, then they can face intoxication manslaughter charges.
Our firm also handles juvenile or underage DWI arrests, which occur when people under 21 years of age operate motor vehicles while having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Whereas a typical first DWI conviction is a Class B Misdemeanor, a juvenile or underage DWI is usually a Class C Misdemeanor.
When an individual is arrested for a DWI and the blood, breath, or urine test shows an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more at the time the test was performed, the offense will be a Class A misdemeanor. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy also defend against boating while intoxicated and flying while intoxicated charges.
Other kinds of crimes people can face charges for either in connection to DWI or just alcohol use, in general, may include public intoxication, minor in possession of alcohol, open container in vehicle, possession of alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, or resisting arrest.
Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Drunk Driving Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you have been arrested for a DWI anywhere in the greater Dallas area, do not wait another moment to retain legal counsel. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged DWI offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.
Our firm understands how frightening and confusing the entire DWI process can be for most people, so we will work hard to make sure that you are fully aware of everything that is going on with your case and what options you will have in court. You can call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation so we can review your case and outline the legal options you might have.