For basketball fans everywhere, March means more than just that spring is right around the corner. It means college basketball championships, a whole month’s worth of tension-packed tournaments that are watched avidly by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) fans across the country. While a traditional part of March Madness is watching the games together with family and friends at sports bars, parties, and get togethers, it is important to be aware of the dangers of over-consuming alcohol at these events. Car accidents and injuries caused drunk drivers are unfortunately common at this time of year. When heading out or hosting March Madness events, adopt the motto ‘fans don’t let fans drive drunk’ and follow these precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Oregon Drunk Driving Statistics
Drunk driving statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate some shocking facts about drunk driving accidents throughout the United States:
- Approximately 30 drunk driving fatalities occur each day, roughly one every 51 minutes.
- Alcohol-related accidents account for nearly one third of all motor vehicle accidents that occur each year.
- The costs associated with drunk driving accidents total over $59 billion annually.
In our state alone, a CDC fact sheet on Oregon drunk driving statistics indicates that more than 100 people each year are killed in drunk driving accidents, while thousands more suffer serious injuries. The month of March is particularly deadly, as basketball fans attending parties or heading to their favorite sports bars may overdo it when it comes to imbibing their favorite alcoholic beverages. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that over half of all traffic fatalities that occur each year in March are alcohol-related.
Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk
If you are out with friends or hosting a party during March Madness this year, avoid over-consuming alcohol yourself and be aware of the signs indicating others have had too much to drink. According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, signs that a party guest or fellow fan may be alcohol impaired include the following:
- Bloodshot and glassy eyes
- A disheveled and dazed appearance
- Loud or slurred speech
- Being aggressive and argumentative
- Being overly friendly or making inappropriate sexual advances
- Swaying, staggering, or stumbling when walking
- Tripping, falling, or being extremely clumsy
If you suspect someone has had too much to drink, use distraction techniques to get them to stop drinking, and enlist the help of friends to prevent them from getting behind the wheel. Take their keys, call a cab, or call law enforcement if necessary to keep them from driving. While they may be angry with you at the time, the actions you take could save their lives, as well as the lives of others.
Contact a Dedicated Portland Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact a skilled Portland car accident attorney today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. Serving Portland and the surrounding areas, we provide professional, aggressive legal representation to people injured in all types of motor vehicle accidents. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.