Football season is here and many of us are prepping our grills and filling our ice chests for the first big tailgating parties of the year. In order to keep from ruining all the fun, make sure you and all your tailgating friends keep the following in mind.
- Make sure you check the college or university’s rules for tailgating to avoid getting on the wrong side of campus police/security. Many colleges have rules on where you can tailgate (designated areas) and other restrictions on what you can bring and how long before and after the game you can stay.
- Be careful about serving minors. Some students attending college are 21 and some are not. It’s hard to tell which are and which are not. Be careful about allowing students (minors) to drink alcohol at your tailgate. Under Oklahoma law it is unlawful to give a minor an intoxicating beverage and it is unlawful for the minor to consume or possess such a beverage. 37 Okla. Stat. 241 and 246.
- Don’t violate open container laws. It’s easy to throw things, including opened but unconsumed bottles of wine, beer, etc., in the back seats of a car or SUV when packing up after tailgate and inadvertently be in violation of the open container laws. If you happen to be pulled over for speeding on the way home, open containers could result in additional fines. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, §1220 provides that it is “unlawful for any operator to knowingly transport or for any passenger to possess in any moving vehicle upon a public highway, street . . . any intoxicating beverage or low-point beer . . . except in the original container which shall not have been opened and from which the original cap or seal shall not have been removed, unless the opened container be in the rear trunk or rear compartment. . . “.
- Have fun, but not too much fun and you might consider a Solo cup. Technically, Oklahoma law prohibits consuming any intoxicating beverages in a public place, unless authorized by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. Okla. Stat. tit. 37, §8. Since most of us do not know precisely what is approved by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, if you are drinking alcohol in any public place, you may want to put it in a cup and not drink from the original container. Also, if you imbibe too much, you can risk liability for what is commonly referred to as ‘public intoxication’. 37 Okla Stat. sec. 8 imposes fines upon any person who is drunk or intoxicated and disturbs the peace.
- If you do drink too much, get a ride. It goes without saying, the consequences of driving drunk are severe for the driver, but most significantly for the danger a drunk person poses to others.
About the Author
Cori H. Loomis, J.D. is an attorney at Christensen Law Group, PLLC. She is an expert in healthcare law, employment issues, and business transactions. You can read more about her and her legal experience here.