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Is drunk driving common after Green Bay Packer games?

The Green Bay Packers are an icon in the NFL. They've won multiple Super Bowls, and the Lombardi Trophy is even named after their groundbreaking coach. Legends like Brett Favre, Reggie White, and Bart Starr have all worn the team's jerseys, and the fan-base is so dedicated that the waiting list for season tickets is years long.

Suffice to say, football is king in Wisconsin. The Packers are well loved. Tailgating and going to home games is a tradition year in and year out, especially since QB Aaron Rodgers ensures that the team is always competitive - even if they did fall one game short of the Super Bowl this year.

Almost every other person is intoxicated after a big game!

One thing to remember about pro sporting events, though, is that they do increase the odds of drunk driving. Tens of thousands of fans pack the parking lots around the stadium. When they all leave, studies have found that 40 percent of them have consumed alcohol and 8 percent of them are legally drunk, with a BAC over 0.08.

The above study wasn't just carried out at football games. Instead, it polled 362 people at three football games and 13 baseball games. However, it still paints a rough picture of what things look like on the way out of Lambeau Field.

That study isn't the only one to come up with increased OWI stats. The New England Journal of Medicine carried out a study in Texas, for instance, finding that drunk drivers caused around 1,500 accidents after football games in one year alone.

Sobering statistics

Beyond that, the study found that 45 percent of fans who drank would then drive home - though the study didn't seem to differentiate based on how much they drank. Similarly, in California, police said that OWI accidents rose after the Super Bowl. National stats have corresponded with this, showing a jump of 41 percent when looking at deadly OWI accidents after the big game.

So, what does this mean for you? If you go to Packers games next year, or any other major sporting events in Wisconsin, it means police are especially vigilant. They're out in force. You could be pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, even if you're not over the legal limit and, in some cases, even if you haven't had anything to drink - police do make mistakes and pull over sober drivers when they're expecting to find a lot of people who are under the influence.

If this happens to you, it's crucial to know your rights. The ramifications of an OWI charge - especially for repeat offenders - can last for years.

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