Drinking citations fall from last year’s home opener

After a last-second win in Tallahassee, fans came out to support the University of Miami football team in the first home game of the season.

Besides the win of 33-17, UM students have another reason to celebrate, the amount of citations for underage drinking has decreased since last year.

More students attended last week’s game, 5,616, than last year’s opener

This decline occurred even with over 1,00 more students attending last week’s game than the 2008 home opener. Both games were on a Thursday night.

According to preliminary reports, nine notices to appear in court  for possession of alcohol were issued by the State of Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco last Thursday.

In the 2008 opening home game, more than 60 citations were issued for underage drinking.

“Prevention is an important component in enforcing underage drinking. The division works to combat underage drinking through education, prevention, and enforcement,” Alexis Antonacci Lambert, press secretary of business and professional regulation, said in an e-mail to The Miami Hurricane.

One of their educational programs is TURF, Tailgaters Urging Responsibility and Fun. TURF aims to positively impact the game environment for everyone with tips on successful celebration and responsible alcohol consumption.

“I think the biggest difference that will cause the numbers to fluctuate is student behavior. If the officers, security staff, or gate staff doesn’t see inappropriate behavior there won’t be anything to confront,” said Tony Lake, the associate dean of students.

Lake said he was not sure if there was a connection between the student parking area being eliminated from last year and the decline in citations. This year students did not have a designated area to park and were more spread out through Land Shark Stadium parking.