The Rocky Mountain Showdown is this weekend which means brats, buffalo burgers and beer. Police from Colorado State University, University of Colorado and the City of Denver will be at the event to ensure alcohol consumption does not get out of hand.
Margo Schenk, a junior studying psychology, encountered an undercover officer while tailgating at the showdown last year and she was issued a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) ticket.
“Don’t drink at tailgates if you are underage — period,” Schenk said. “They are going to catch you. No matter how smart you think you are, they are smarter. They have been dealing with this for a long time.”
This year, the Denver Police Department has stated that there will be large contingent of officers at the game, both uniformed and plain clothed.
“Special attention will be focused on alcohol possession and consumption,” stated a letter from the Denver PD.
CSU Student Legal Services Attorney Forrest Orswell said this special focus on alcohol consumption and possession has resulted in an increased number of MIP tickets recently.
“In recent years, we have seen a large number of MIP tickets issued at this event,” Orswell wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Many of these are written by plain-clothes officers roaming the crowd. Be aware that undercover police are active and that they regularly use binoculars for surveillance at a distance.”
Orswell said students should be smart about handling interactions with the police and realize that remaining quiet is often the best policy.
An MIP ticket can cost an offender around $350 in fines and court costs, according to Orswell. If the offender is a CSU student, Student Conduct Services will be notified of the infraction and the student may face university consequences.
“The names of students contacted by police at the game will be forwarded to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services,” said Michael Katz, assistant director of conflict resolution and student conduct services. “That office will follow normal procedures for student conduct issues, based on the citation.”
Police are instructed to send intoxicated attendees who may pose a threat to themselves or others to a detoxification facility where they will stay until their blood alcohol content is .000 and there are no withdrawal symptoms, according to the letter from the Denver PD.
Underage students can contact the police in the case of a medical emergency and will not get in trouble.
“If a friend has had too much to drink and is in medical trouble, you should call for help,” Orswell said. “The MIP statute says that if you are proactive in calling police for medical help for a drunk friend, you will not be charged with MIP.”
Warning signs that someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning are outlined on the CSU Health Network website.
Some who face the consequences of drinking at the game still appreciate police presence for safety.
“As annoying as some people think it is, police are just there to make sure you are safe,” Schenk said.
Collegian Reporter Danny Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DannyDBishop.