Minnesota study suggests sporting events create DWI risk and more

According to sources, baseball stadiums across the country have reported an increase in the amount and severity of rowdy behavior during professional sports games. It is believed that this increase has been caused in part by alcohol consumption and the influx of younger, college-aged fans who have been frequenting the stadiums.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota decided to conduct an official study of the societal risks associated with professional sporting events and alcohol use. They found that alcohol laws and guidelines were poorly enforced, potentially contributing to a greater number of DWI and other alcohol-fueled incidents.

Some researchers who pretended to be severely intoxicated report that they were still served alcohol by vendors at sports games. The study also found that approximately 8 percent of sports fans have BAC levels that are greater than the legal limit when they leave the sports arena. Whether all of those intoxicated sports fans got behind the wheel to drive home is not reported, but it’s natural for safety advocates to worry that drunk driving is too common after a sporting event.

At most stadiums across the country, consuming alcoholic beverages before a sporting event is the norm. Then, most people continue to drink alcohol once they are inside the arena. According to reports, some researchers believe that this tradition of prolonged alcohol consumption has led to a number of violent outbursts at sports stadiums recently. During one recent alcohol-related incident, a man was beaten so badly at a sporting event that he ended up in a coma.

Some families have reported feeling reluctant to take their children to professional sporting events because the fans create a significant risk to the safety of their children. Other long-time fans have reported that they stopped attending professional sporting events altogether due to rowdy behavior by other fans. Some stadiums have made attempts to remedy this situation by providing “family-friendly” and “alcohol-free” sections.

Should different sports stadiums from the realm of baseball to football and beyond enforce stricter drinking laws? Critics recognize how unlikely it would be to ban alcohol from sporting events, since so many alcohol providers sponsor stadiums and events.


NBC Sports: “Drunk baseball fans are causing big problems,” Eddie Pells, 24 May 2011

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.