Drinking citations decrease, could rise

At the University of Miami football game at Dolphin Stadium last Saturday, underaged drinkers were issued fewer citations than at the previous home game against Charleston Southern.

The State of Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) issued 42 written citations last Saturday at the game against University of North Carolina. The majority of these citations were for underage possession of alcohol.

This number is down from 60 citations given at the Charleston Southern game on Aug. 28, all of which were for the same offense.

All of the underage citations given at Charleston Southern were to UM students while only 27 of the citations issued at the UNC game were to UM students, according to Ricardo Hall, the dean of students. The 27 citations given to UM students included 17 males and 10 females.

ABT patrolled the tailgates at both games in the same manner.

Both games also had three arrests, all given to UM students. According to Hall, arrests for simple possession are rare.

“The police generally do not arrest students unless they are acting disorderly,” he said. “A student has to do something verbally or physically to get arrested.”

Hall speculated that students being more familiar with Dolphin Stadium and the increased presence of parental figures because of Parents Weekend were reasons for the decrease in citations.

Hall said that the police at the UNC game were not undercover; however, he said he would not be surprised if undercover police were present at this Saturday’s game against FSU.

Hall added that he thinks ABT will use undercover police because there will be more students attending the rivalry game and students will have a longer time to tailgate. The FSU game will start at 3:30 p.m. while last Saturday’s game began at noon.

However, the earlier start for the UNC game did not slow down drinking of some students.

“At 10:30 in the morning I saw students drinking hard liquor,” Hall said. “They were drinking beer and playing drinking games. Many students were grossly intoxicated.”

Undercover police have come to patrol previous UM football games. They were present at the Charleston Southern game and have come to games at the Orange Bowl.

ABT could not confirm this prediction.

Another reason the amount of citations could grow is the presence of fewer parents at the FSU game than at the UNC game.

Kurt Lawhorn, a senior, said he believes more police were present at the UNC game than Charleston Southern.

The combined total of 102 written citations in the two home games has made other students more wary of tailgating.

Rachel Krasko, a sophomore, has avoided tailgating because of the large amount of citations given.

“I went a couple of times to the Orange Bowl last year, but this year it is not worth it,” Krasko said. “I do not want to go early and get caught with a drink in my hand. I cannot get arrested if I want to go to medical school.”

Robert Till, a freshman, who went to the game last Saturday, agreed.

“If you are underage and drinking at Dolphin Stadium you are always playing the odds,” Till said.