August 31, 2012
Sobering intentions: Football season renews efforts to curb underage drinking, keep drunk drivers off the road
Just as football season gets ready to kick off at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, so do efforts by the Kansas State University Police Department to curb underage drinking at home football games.
As in past years, campus police will be patrolling parking lots around the stadium, looking for underage drinking and for those who provide alcohol to minors. Alcohol in the parking lots at the stadium and in the surrounding parking lots owned or controlled by Kansas State University is prohibited regardless of age.
Although adults 21 and older risk a citation for having an open container, law enforcement agencies are concentrating their enforcement efforts on those under age 21.
"This is where we see the greatest amount of binge drinking and the greatest amount of alcohol-related law enforcement calls and medical calls for extreme levels of intoxication," said Capt. Don Stubbings of the Kansas State University Police Department.
Each year, officers have seized large quantities of beer and other alcoholic beverages at football games, Stubbings said.
"It's not uncommon to confiscate hundreds of cans of beer at larger tailgate parties," he said. "One of the factors that contributes to binge drinking includes various drinking games, such as beer pong and other games that require drinking in various phases of the game."
Alcoholic punch mixes pose another danger and often have unmeasured quantities of alcohol, Stubbings said.
"People drinking an alcoholic punch may think they are consuming just one alcoholic beverage, but in reality the drink may contain two or three times the alcohol in a common mixed drink," he said.
Underage drinking comes at a cost. Fines for minor in possession citations are in the hundreds of dollars, and students may also face university sanctions if the citation was issued on university property, Stubbings said.
"We want to remind those who do choose to take a risk and drink to not to drink and drive," he said. "Find a sober driver, use the university's SafeRide program or call a taxi."
More information about the SafeRide program, which operates on fixed routes around the campus and adjacent areas Thursday through Saturday nights, is available at http://www.k-state.edu/osas/saferide/.
The Kansas State University Police Department is also partnering with the Kansas Department of Transportation in the "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" program.
"We will be having a concentrated effort throughout the weekend to identify and arrest those who are driving impaired," Stubbings said. "Starting with a DUI check lane Friday, Aug. 31, the Riley County Police Department, university police and the Kansas Highway Patrol will work together taking impaired drivers off the streets."
To receive updates on enforcement efforts and other local law enforcement information, you can follow all three agencies on Twitter: Kansas State University Police, @kstatepolice; the Riley County Police Department, @RileyCountyPD; and the Kansas Highway Patrol, @kshighwaypatrol.