Football is finally back! Whether you have a passion for college football or the NFL, all football enthusiasts can agree that this is one of the best times of the year: fall, weekends full of games and, of course, tailgating. As you head back to your alma mater, or head to a professional game, Bannister, Wyatt and Stalvey is here to give you a quick refresher on how to have a fun and safe tailgate:
- No matter where you are, serving alcohol to anyone under 21 is always against the law. If you’re hosting a tailgate, be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options for fans of all ages.
- Open containers are always prohibited in vehicles, regardless of the person’s age. You may have an open container, like a half finished bottle of wine, in the trunk. An open container violation is a misdemeanor that carries a fine or up to 30 days in jail.
- At The Citadel, tailgating is permitted for all cars in the parking lot areas. Alcohol is not permitted in the Brittlebank Parking lot, but all other sanctioned lots permit consumption for those of legal age as long as beverages are kept in the parking lot area.
- At The University of South Carolina, there are open container laws for the roads, but the majority of their parking lots allow alcohol consumptions for those of legal age. Columbia follows most of the same game day policies that you would experience in a majority of cities in the Southeast.
- At Clemson University, alcohol is prohibited on all public streets and sidewalks. Clemson also prohibits all open containers, no matter the location, from Saturday at midnight to sunrise Monday morning.
- Currently, alcohol sales and consumption is prohibited in all college football stadiums in South Carolina. While there are talks of this changing, most schools are continuing to keep alcohol restricted to corporate suites and other premium seating areas, if they allow it at all. You can also be ejected from stadiums if you are intoxicated.
- Public intoxication is always something to be mindful of. While it’s not illegal to be intoxicated in public, the law prohibits “gross intoxication” in public areas. Violations are misdemeanors and will result in a fine or up to 30 days in jail. Disorderly conduct can also go hand in hand with public intoxication – when in doubt, be respectful of all law enforcement officers.
While some cities and campuses may be more “lax” with their open container policies on game day, we recommend following the guidelines set forth by any institution for a safe and happy game day for all!
Just because you are a fan does not make you above the law. If you do get into trouble on game day, Bannister, Wyatt and Stalvey is here to help.