For the Fall 2013 football season the Boise Police Department (BPD) decided to mandate a new ordinance for tailgating. This new ordinance was called the 10 to 10 Zone, because it was in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on game days. It also extended the areas where tailgaters could legally consume alcohol.
The ordinance was instituted partially so officers could attend to other matters, such as public safety and underage drinking.
Although many students understood this was the case, they still found it frustrating.
“As a college student it’s kind of annoying. But it’s probably better that they use their resources on that kind of stuff than on tailgating,” said freshman biology major Megan Kelly-Slatten.
The result of the new procedure was a decrease in open container citations. There was, however, an increase in the number of underage drinking citations. According to a press release from the BPD, this rose from 28 in 2012 to 72 in 2013.
Lynn Hightower, communications director for BPD, said this statistic doesn’t insinuate there was more underage drinking than usual last year.
“Underage drinking was no more prevalent last year; there were just more resources to monitor it,” Hightower said.
Kelly-Slatten said she noticed only a minor influx of underage drinking on game days compared to non-game days.
“Maybe (some people) are more prone to drink at football games,” Kelly-Slatten said.
Eduardo Magana, a freshman graphic design major, also sees more students drink on campus.
Education about the borders and rules of the new ordinance was especially emphasized in the inaugural year, but will continue in the coming years.
“Education will always be an important component,” Hightower said.
Hightower also explained the violator’s intention was taken into consideration by officers when they enforced the parameters.
“Education is an important component to any ordinance, but (enforcement) is always up to the officer’s discretion. Officers, if it’s the first time they’ve run into you and they think that you are sincerely unaware, then they will continue to educate you,” Hightower said.
Hightower said a major reason why the ordinance was so successful was its consistency from game to game. Regardless of whether the game was in the morning or evening, the hours for legal tailgating and public consumption remained the same, so there was less room for confusion by the public.
“People understood that on late games when they had to pull in the alcohol at half-time. Nobody complained, nobody was confused and it worked quite well,” Hightower explained.
The ordinance expires on June 1, but BPD is requesting that aspect of the ordinance be amended.