March Madness: Basketball, Brackets, Beers, BAC and Bros Behind Bars

march-madnessWe know you won’t be getting much work done during March Madness. Probably not much reading either, apart from whatever info helps you predict your final four.  Your Netflix queue will get backed up. You might even have scheduled elective surgery in order to recuperate at home in front of the TV for a few days.

And if you are home, bandaged up, then that’s fine. But if you’re out with your buds watching the games in sports bars, friends’ homes, or if you’re lucky, in arenas in Dayton, Houston, Louisville, or any of the other cities that are hosting games, then there’s something you need to know: the patrols are out there, and they’ve got their breathalyzers charged up and ready.

March Madness is a staple on police calendars; cops know that lots of people are drinking during the games, and too many of them will decide to drive home afterwards. They’ll be extra vigilant, taking pains to spot anyone who is making awkward driving moves (driving too slow, failing to start at a green light, veering over the center line or into the shoulder, for example).

In some states the DUI numbers go into the thousands during March, and the Madness is one reason (St. Patrick’s Day is another, but that’s another post).

And if you think the police will be more lenient on you because of the unique circumstances, think again. Police have heard every excuse in the book, and having your favorite team make the Sweet Sixteen is not going to get you let off with a warning. So:

  • Drink responsibly. Stop drinking early if you plan to drive – remember, it takes time for all the alcohol you drink to have an effect, and even more to dissipate from your system.
  • Designate a driver. Trade off on different days. Believe it or not, basketball is very entertaining for sober people.
  • Call a taxi or rideshare service.
  • Sleep over. You’ll be late to work, but you weren’t getting any work done anyway, remember?

It should be a great tournament this year. If you have a plan for getting home without driving drunk, you’ll have nothing to worry about except winning the pool. “People with a DUI” is one bracket you don’t want to be in.