When sophomore criminal justice major Sydney Thompson attended the Aaron Carter concert March 30 at the Aggie Theater, she did not know that she was going to have to prove her sobriety.
“It’s kind of weird. I didn’t know about that policy before I went, but it was okay,” she said.
After an announcement March 25, the Aggie has begun submitting all underage concertgoers to a breathalyzer test and a pat down. This follows the temporary suspension of the Aggie’s liquor license last month after police found drunk, underage attendees outside the venue.
“We put a case together over time and we were seeing a pattern which was in violation of their liquor license,” said Sergeant Dean Cunningham of Fort Collins Police Services. “They are not to have any underage people who have been drinking inside their establishment.”
According to Cunningham, the Aggie worked with a liquor enforcement officer to come up with ways to better adhere to the parameters of their liquor license, and the breathalyzing policy was something suggested by representatives of the theater. Without a solution to the problem, it risked losing their liquor license.
“The Aggie’s been good with working with us in what we want done, which is for them to be responsible license holders. I think it’s a step in the right direction for them to come in line with what the expectations are,” Cunningham said.
Reactions on this policy have been mixed, according to those interviewed. Thompson states that this policy will not change her attendance at shows.
“It won’t keep me from going or anything. I think it might stop other people, but I’ll still go,” she said.
Benjamin Buttice, from the band Sour Boy, Bitter Girl, said that it’s a tricky situation and that breathalyzing everyone seems invasive.
“Societally, being breathalyzed is associated with being arrested,” Buttice said. “We have this cognitive association between the test and bad situations. I can see how it would be psychologically heavy on minors and that it might turn minors away, which is not good business.”
While it may be inconvenient to have to pause the lines entering the venue in order to breathalyze everyone, Thompson believes that it won’t slow down entry or cause any problems if you have not been drinking underage. As someone who has attended shows both before and after the new policy was put into place, she said that the time it took her to get inside was comparable.
“It took two seconds and didn’t slow the line down. I think it will just definitely make an impact on people drinking before — nobody will.”
The Aggie declined to comment.
Collegian Writer McKenna Ferguson can be reached at email@example.com.