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Don’t get benched on Game Day: How to tailgate safely

It’s time for some football!

It is arguably the best time of year in Hattiesburg. The weather gets cooler, the front of the USM campus turns gold, and don’t get me started on the food!

But also, tailgating can be dangerous.

Although USM is a dry campus and does not allow alcohol on the property or in the stadium, there are still plenty of people who enjoy their food and beer elsewhere before heading to The Rock.

Even if they don’t drink before the game, plenty of businesses offer amazing Game Day drinking specials and food options after.

It is important that everyone enjoy their time rooting for their home team without making a costly mistake like drinking and driving.

Know Your Limit — Two drinks is the limit, right? Wrong. Your weight, gender, food consumption, and the number and types of drinks you've had all play a part in determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).

An excerpt from Oxford University Press’ website outlines some ways schools and communities combat excessive alcohol use on game days:

  1. One of the most widespread measures has been that alcohol has generally not been sold (at least to most fans) at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic events. Exceptions to this vary by athletic conference and by specific institutions but have included alcohol drinks served within luxury boxes and other restricted areas of the stadium. More recently, alcohol sales have been piloted at some NCAA events such as the College World Series (baseball). Proponents of alcohol sales at college athletic events argue that access to alcohol during the game may reduce binging on alcohol (“fueling up”) prior to entering the stadium. There is the possibility that alcohol consumption during games may increase excessive drinking, especially given that college football games often extend for more than three hours. Some stadiums may designate certain areas as “alcohol free” or “family friendly” to reduce impact on other fans.

  2. Restrictions on tailgating hours have shown mixed success with reducing binge drinking. One practical limitation to this measure is that it is often unpopular with the fan base and may also have economic ramifications for the community. College football games can bring in substantial revenue for the institutions and surrounding cities, especially hotels and restaurants.

  3. Expanded enforcement of alcohol-related laws has been tried at many stadiums. This may include enforcement of “open container” laws outside of approved tailgating areas and also restrictions on “open bars” (i.e., distribution of alcohol in mass fashion such as from kegs). Additional measures may include increasing driving checkpoints to discourage driving under the influence (DUI) and intervention at “nuisance” parties.

  4. Removal of individuals from stadiums who are excessively intoxicated has been enhanced at many stadiums. Stadiums may offer text messaging services that allow fans to report individuals who are disruptive and unruly.

Even with theses types of interventions in place, some may still choose to drink and drive.

In the event you or someone you know is caught drinking and driving on Game Day, have them call Tangi Carter.

Always either call a cab, call Uber, or use a SOBER designated driver.

About Tangi Carter:

For over 22 years Tangi Carter has helped clients navigate the legal system. She will treat you with respect and utilize her knowledge and experience to protect your rights and liberty. She is admitted to practice law in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, and the Federal Courts. .

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