Oxford, Mississippi Drunk Driving Has a Football Problem
Drunk driving is down in general in the US. But Oxford, Mississippi is not sharing in the joy of safer roads. According to a news report, DUI arrests in that city are on track to break records.
The Usual Suspect: Football
Most drunk driving arrests in Oxford happen during football season. Ballgame weekends are particularly prone to drunk driving, and home games for Ole Miss seem to rack up an outsized portion of DUIs. The reason is obvious: football games are social events, and beer is part of the festivities. People might not be inclined to leave their house for a book club, sewing circle, or community bird watching, but when it comes to football, games are better enjoyed in the company of family and friends. That means driving.
Another Possibility: Better Policing
It’s also possible that Oxford police are just getting better at catching drunk drivers. Every year the public is more aware of the problem of drunk driving. Citizens are more likely to report impaired drivers they see on the road, and police are generally getting less tolerant of those they catch. After all, if you don’t know by now that drunk driving is dangerous, when are you going to learn?Nevertheless, the spike that is happening during football season means that more vigilant policing is not the whole story.
What Can Change?
Football will always be football, especially in Mississippi. But many drunk drivers can change, since a lot of drunk driving can be stopped if it were simply made unfashionable enough. Right now it looks as if Mississippi football fans accept drunk driving too readily. There are efforts to help get fans home safely. Safe Ride Ole Miss is one example of a group that’s doing excellent work. But everyone needs to be in on it. The teams, the advertisers, and other organizations behind the sport need to work with law enforcement to get the message across that driving while drunk is selfish, dumb, and dangerous.