A perfect storm of bars and taverns reopening on the same day the Raiders kick off their tenure playing in Sin City could brew for a dangerous scenario on Las Vegas Valley roads Monday.
Public safety officials are urging fans to not get behind the wheel intoxicated after the Raiders face the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football” at Allegiant Stadium.
Although fans are not allowed at games at the $2 billion facility, Raider Nation will be out in force at bars, sports books and watch parties celebrating the newest addition to the Las Vegas major sports landscape.
After Golden Knights games over the past three years, an uptick in DUIs has occurred on game days, according to Andrew Bennett, Nevada Department of Public Safety spokesman.
“As Vegas has more and more pro sports teams, there is a notable increase of DUIs on the nights of professional sporting games,” Bennett said. “It’s not just people leaving the stadiums, it’s people leaving local establishments and watch parties.”
Despite business shutdowns and regulations limiting capacity in open establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic fatalities are higher this year than last year, Bennett said.
“At this time we’re 4 percent increased of where we were at this time last year statewide, which is concerning to us,” Bennett said. “We had months where people were told to stay at home, so to experience an increase this year is a little disheartening.”
The vast majority of the fatal crashes involve DUI and/or speed, he added.
The Metropolitan Police Department’s DUI Strike team had a month during the shutdown where it recorded 77 percent more DUI arrests than last year, even when the bars and taverns were shut down. Bennett believes this is tied to house parties.
“If you’re hosting people you need to make