Tailgaters' Alcohol Is Tough to Monitor

AS some football fans and college alumni are quick to point out, game-day beverages often include alcohol: beer, wine, and hard liquor. ``Problems do exist and there have been some sort of unfortunate situations,'' says Jeffrey Hon, spokesman for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency.

In response to alcohol-related misconduct among fans before, during, and after events, many football stadiums now sell smaller and fewer portions of beer and discontinue beer sales in the third quarter.

But alcohol consumption at tailgate parties is difficult to monitor, say police and stadium security officials, so restrictions are hard to enforce.

Anaheim Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams, started posting ``no alcoholic beverages'' signs in its parking lot a few years ago.

``We don't push it [enforcement] extremely hard, unless they [fans] get unruly. ... It would be so difficult to control'' all drinking, says Phil Larcus, operations manager at Anaheim. Fans drink alcohol in paper cups or other nondescript containers. ``You try to make it so that everybody can enjoy the game,'' says Mr. Larcus.

Some colleges and universities have imposed restrictions such as limiting tailgating areas and prohibiting beer kegs in parking lots.

``Anytime you have alcohol involved in that length of time, you'll see ... some people get out of hand,'' says Roger Backstrom, an Ohio State alumnus and regular tailgater. ``But most people are pretty responsible.''

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