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Tailgating is a time-honored tradition during football season, a way to spend time with fellow sports fans while sharing your enthusiasm for your favorite team. Unfortunately, since most tailgating parties take place in stadium parking lots and are often associated with alcohol, they can lead to drinking and driving, as well as underage drinking. There are many reasons to reconsider your alcohol use while tailgating:

  • Drinking outside some stadium venues might be prohibited, and you could risk a ticket or fine.
  • Driving after even one drink is unsafe.
  • Excessive drinking can get in the way of enjoying your favorite football team, and can also pose serious health risks.
  • Tailgating presents an opportunity for underage drinking, and you could risk charges if you drink while underage or provide alcohol to a minor.

With some planning, you can still celebrate your favorite team while practicing responsible drinking. Football season is about friendship, fun, and the excitement of the game, not about alcohol. Here are some of our best tips to safely enjoy tailgating this season.

Plan to Tailgate Sober

The best way to prevent negative outcomes from tailgating (like drunk driving, underage drinking, or the unpleasant side effects of alcohol) is to stay sober at a tailgate party. If you’re planning the gathering, you can make sure there’s plenty of good food and alternative beverages so that no one misses the alcohol. If you’re attending someone else’s tailgate party, bring your favorite soft drink and a delicious party snack to share. You could even mix up a delicious mocktail that everyone can get excited about. Remember that you’re there to enjoy your friends and cheer on your favorite football team; tailgating doesn’t have to be about alcohol.

Rotate Designated Driver Duties

If you have a regular group of friends who like to tailgate together, discuss how you can keep each other safe, and prevent drinking and driving. You could take turns being the designated driver, and the rest of the group can chip in for gas or get the driver their favorite stadium snack to thank them for staying sober. Just make sure you all trust each other to take the designated driver responsibilities seriously and find another way home if the designated driver ends up drinking any alcohol.

Make it Family Friendly

Does your family love football, too? Go ahead and bring them to your tailgate party (and encourage your friends to do the same). Having family, especially kids, at a tailgate makes the party less about alcohol and more about having fun together. Plan some games to keep everyone moving, play family-friendly music, and don’t forget the soft drinks and snacks.

Find a Safe Ride Home

If you make an error in judgment and drink at a tailgate party, the only way to be safe is not to get behind the wheel. Alcohol effects your ability to drive, even the smallest amount. You can’t ignore the side effects of alcohol. Ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, or use public transportation if it’s available. The hassle of coming back the next day for your car is much better than the risks of drinking and driving. And if you see a friend planning to drive after drinking, offer them a ride or get them a cab.

Tailgating during football season is a fun way to cheer on your favorite team with friends, but responsible drinking means understanding that even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect your driving. If you have had even one drink, you should never get behind the wheel. If you or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving and needs an ignition interlock to continue to drive, you can trust in Draeger Interlock. Contact us for more information about Draeger Interlock devices.

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