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NFL & NHL Brings Excitement, Traffic Delays and Increased DUIs to Las Vegas

T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

As we near the mid-point of October, the NFL season is in full-swing and the Las Vegas Raiders are in turbulent times after the announcement that head coach John Gruden is resigning due to past statements made in emails.  In addition to the NFL season, the NHL hockey season also returns week, with the Las Vegas Golden Knights playing their first game at the T-Mobile arena yesterday, a 4-3 win over the NHL’s newest addition, the Seattle Kraken. While this is an exciting time for Las Vegas fans and residents, these stadiums also bring increased traffic, major delays [1] and additional accidents to Downtown Las Vegas.

With the Raider and Knights games back, this time with fan attendance, drivers should expect added traffic congestion near Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena. There will be lane closures on the following streets surrounding Allegiant Stadium: Dean Martin, Polaris, and Russel Roads. In addition, Hacienda will be closed from the Luxor to Polaris to accommodate pedestrians walking between the stadium and Las Vegas Boulevard. If you are headed to the game and want to skip the traffic, you can utilize the “Game Day Express”, a bus service created by RTC and Allegiant Stadium. The buses begin running four hours before the game starts and will return fans back to their parking/pickup location 30 minutes after the game. If you don’t want to take the bus, you could consider the following options:

  • Parking at the garages located along The Strip and walk on the Hacienda Bridge.
  • Utilize ridesharing (ie. Uber or Lyft)
  • Carpool
  • If you plan on attending several games through the season, it may best for you to purchase the season parking pass as well. [2]

Other Traffic Concerns in the Las Vegas Area

As traffic and fatal crashes continue to increase in Las Vegas and Nevada as a whole, DUI accidents also continue to increase. At the end of September Las Vegas police responded to a fatal DUI crash in East Las Vegas at the intersection of Charleston and Lamb Boulevards. One driver was severely injured and the other was killed in the incident. [3]  This is once again a deadly reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving.

65 percent of Nevada’s DUI incidents occur in Clark County, and sporting events like the Raiders and Golden Knights games increase the chance of drivers getting behind the wheel after having one or two drinks. Whether you think you are drunk or not, driving under the influence can be prosecuted by law enforcement for driving after as little as one drink. While Nevada’s blood alcohol limit is 0.8, drivers can still be pulled over or arrested for lower levels if they are posing a threat to other drivers or are under the influence of a controlled or prohibited substance. In addition the penalties are steep; the following are some of the many negative consequences of DUIs in Nevada:

  • License Suspension: Depending on your blood alcohol level and the number of convictions you have, your driver’s license can be suspended for varying lengths of time—sometimes up to one year or more.
  • Revoked License: If you have multiple DUI offenses, your driver’s license will be revoked. In addition, for Nevada truck related DUIs, if you are driving with a Commercial Driver’s License, your punishment may be more severe and can affect your employment.
  • Jail Time: In Nevada if you are convicted for a first time DUI offense, you can be me required to serve a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours up to a maximum sentence of 180 days, or six months in jail. In some instances, the court may require community service as an alternative.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: If you are convicted of a DUI, the court may also require you to install an Ignition Interlock device. The device requires you to blow into a device to detect alcohol before operating a motor vehicle. [4]
  • Higher Insurance Rates: A DUI ticket or conviction can result in increased auto insurance rates. In addition, some insurance companies may deny paying for your medical treatment if you were injured in a DUI accident that you cause.
  • Potential of Civil Litigation:  In addition to all the criminal charges and penalties that come with a DUI, the driver may also be served with a civil suit by the victim of the accident which can cause additional monetary damages to not only your insurance but potentially a driver’s assets.

Driving Under the Influence is not worth any of these consequences, nor the ultimate penalty – death . It is better to act responsible and get home safe. Try and find a designated driver who is trustworthy and willing to stay sober or find a person who is willing to pick you up from the event and can safely get you home. If you must go alone and cannot find a designated driver, refrain from drinking alcohol. If you do end up drinking, eat plenty of food and water and consider calling a taxi, Uber, or Lyft or staying at the location or nearby until you have sobered up. Lastly, if you notice a friend or family member trying to drive after consuming alcohol, take their car keys away. While they may be mad at you for the time-being, the alternative consequences are much worse.

[1] https://www.ktnv.com/sports/with-6-big-sporting-events-in-las-vegas-this-weekend-heres-tips-for-driving-around-town

[2] https://www.ktnv.com/traffic/tips-for-beating-the-traffic-on-raiders-game-day

[3] https://www.ktnv.com/news/dui-suspected-in-deadly-early-morning-crash-in-east-las-vegas

[4] https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/auto-and-vehicles/ways-to-prevent-drinking-and-driving

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