College sports events and the presence of alcohol

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Most people understand that college remains a risky environment when it comes to alcohol consumption and drug use. Many studies have shown that some students engage in binge drinking at high levels.

This can lead to unwise decisions and could even lead to students driving a vehicle while under the influence. To counter this, some colleges restrict alcohol sales in stadiums and arenas.

The Big Ten

The Knox News gives an overview of what universities allow alcohol sales at sporting events. The University of Wisconsin allows alcohol sales in club areas, but no plans exist at present to expand this access to general seating. This policy falls about midway on the restrictive level for most Big Ten sports venues:

  • Purdue University sells alcohol to all legal-age fans at football games
  • Penn State University sells alcohol to fans in premium seating at football games
  • Ohio State University limits alcohol sales to two drinks per transaction
  • Northwestern University prohibits alcoholic beverages at football games

Ohio State University also has a designated driver program for sports events. In addition, the school provides free soft drinks to sober drivers throughout the contest.

The Other Schools

A look at other schools shows a fairly wide range of policies for alcohol sales at sporting events. A few schools do not allow any alcohol sales during a sports event, while most allow alcohol sales with moderate restrictions such as ending sales at halftime or near the end of a contest. A common restriction allows only two drinks per transaction. A minority of colleges allow alcohol sales for all legal age attendees in all areas of seating.

The intense social dynamics of college sports events present challenges to students when it comes to drinking and driving. Some schools adopt policies that seek to remove some of the temptations.

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