Football & Alcohol, Keeping Fans Safe on Game Day

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email

"Day games can be issues with traffic and the parking and the amount of people around. Night games can have those same issues but now you have some heightened alcohol issues as well."  - UNLPD Assistant Chief Charlotte Evans

Some fans get pulled out before the half. Some don't even make it to kick off. Football mixed with alcohol, a common cocktail inside Memorial Stadium.

"It's not a big issue because most of our fans are there to just have a good time and they want to make it a family friendly environment. We do have some fans who want to come to the game and they partake before hand. Some do it responsibly and some don't," UNLPD Assistant Chief Charlotte Evans said.

UNL police team up with multiple law enforcement agencies every game day. Evans say prevention is the key to keeping 85,000 fans under control.

"If people are drawing attention to themselves, if they are wobbling, if they are highly intoxicated there," Evans said.

One fan caught the attention of an officer while our cameras were outside the stadium. A Breathalyzer revealed his level of intoxication. He blew a .176 while our cameras rolled. He was sent home with a sober friend. Other fans don't have that luxury.

Once removed from the stadium, each person is brought to a sort of temporary detox room and there they sit and wait, until sheriff deputies pull up with a van, which they run back or forth to Cornhusker Place all night.

"Day games can be issues with traffic and the parking and the amount of people around. Night games can have those same issues but now you have some heightened alcohol issues as well," Evans said.

Officers look for everything from weapons to alcohol. You might be surprised where they find the hard stuff. One officer found two cans of beer stuffed in a fans socks.

Sometimes UNLPD's best leads come from other fans trying to enjoy the game.

"It's meant to be a place where you can come, enjoy, watch the game. If you see anything out of place that is disrupting your enjoyment, please let us know. We want it to be fun for you," Evans said.

Whether the fans are walked out or carried out, no matter what, UNL police are dedicated to keeping memorial stadium safe.


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