Sucking the Fun Out of That

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According to an article yesterday in the New York Times, some colleges are now making another effort to deter binge drinking. Only now it’s not just frat parties and pre-gaming that are concerns. The University of Minnesota has a new program:

Modeled after a program at the University of Wisconsin, Check BAC [Blood Alcohol Content] (pronounced check back) allows student season-ticket holders who are ejected from a game for intoxication offenses to attend future games by submitting to blood alcohol testing. Students under 21 must be alcohol-free; those 21 or older cannot exceed a BAC of 0.08. The two students at the Illinois game registered a 0.00 on the breath analyzer.

Some 50 students at U of M now have to submit to a Breathalyzer test before they can enter TCF Bank Stadium to watch the game. Minnesota has experienced significant problems with alcoholic surrounding Gopher games:

A 2003 disturbance after the Gophers’ N.C.A.A. men’s hockey championship caused an estimated $150,000 in property damage. Last April, the police arrested 12 people after a riot in a neighborhood near campus that coincided with the university’s Spring Jam celebration. Both times, the university police cited excessive drinking as a factor.

While U of M does not actually sell alcoholic beverages in its stadium, the school is apparently worried enough about students drinking before games (or sneaking alcohol in) to institute the low (one hesitates to call it zero)-tolerance policy. Minnesota still allows tailgating with alcohol in campus parking lots.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer