If you’re a United States soccer fan like me, the ending to the United States’ match against Portugal certainly had you reaching for your drink. For those who missed it, Portugal denied the United States automatic qualification into the World Cup’s round of 16 with a late equalizer to put the match at 2-2 with only 20 seconds left in the game.
Now that the group stage is almost finished and we head into single elimination, you can be sure that people are going to be reaching for their drinks whether it’s to celebrate their team moving forward or drink their sorrows away when their team gets knocked out. And although soccer may not bring the attention that, say, football does in the United States, you can be sure that law enforcement is well aware that soccer fans are out there watching the games with a beer at their side. Checkpoints will be held and saturation patrols out in full force.
For other countries where soccer is one of the primary sports, it is well documented that DUIs increase during the World Cup. For example, China has already seen a spike in DUI arrests not even halfway through this World Cup even though they’re not competing in it.
We see an influx of DUI warnings during sporting events that are more popular here in the States, such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, as soccer hasn’t yet taken root here in the United States as it has in other countries, we don’t see the same warnings during soccer events.
Let me provide the same advice I do when other sporting events might have us reaching for our drinks.
If you head to bar, pub, or restaurant, plan ahead. Designate a sober driver and make sure that your designated driver stays sober. Drinking less than your passengers does not make you a sober driver, just a less drunk one.
If your designated driver cannot stay sober, call a cab, Uber, or other ride-sharing service. The trip might cost you several bucks plus tip whereas a DUI can cost up to $10,000 (…not to mention jail time and criminal record).
Enjoy the World Cup, but don’t drive drunk!
The US can advance to the knockout round with a win or a tie against Germany this Thursday.