Choosing to drink is a personal decision. If you are 21 years old or older and choose to drink, make informed decisions to reduce unwanted risks and consequences. The following are some tips:
- Know the standard! A standard drink is 12 oz of 3-5% alcohol by volume (ABV) beer, 5 oz of 12-15% ABV wine, and 1.5 oz of 40% ABV (or 80 proof) hard liquor.
- Set a limit. Before going out, decide how much you’ll drink. It’s easier to stick to your limit if you set it before you start drinking.
- Have a plan. Before going out, figure out the plan for the night including how you’re going to get home and where you’ll be staying for the night.
- Designate a sober driver. The best way to make sure that you’ll get home safely is to have someone who is sober drive you home.
- Track your drinks! You’ve set a limit, now you have to hold yourself accountable. Track your standard drinks with tally marks, a note in your phone, or another way that will be visible and help keep you aware.
- Alternate with water. In between alcoholic drinks, drink water. It helps to slow the rate of consumption and keeps you hydrated.
- Eat a meal with a mix of protein, fat, and carbs before drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach causes the alcohol to be absorbed by your stomach and intestines quicker, which can increase your chances of getting sick.
- Pass on the punch! Drinking from a large, unmarked container, such as a punchbowl, trough or even a lined trash barrel won’t allow you to count your standard drinks. These concoctions may also be mixed with energy drinks which gives drinkers a false sense of how intoxicated they are getting.
- Pace yourself. Avoid pre-gaming, taking shots, shotgunning, keg stands, slapping the bag, or any other games that increase the speed of drinking.
- Remember the memories. Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women in two hours. The amount you drink and how quickly you drink can contribute to blackouts and keep you from remembering some fun memories.
- Don’t mix. Alcohol often has harmful interactions with prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and even some herbal remedies. If you choose to drink, it’s important to observe warning labels and ask your doctor or pharmacist if it’s safe to use alcohol with any medications and herbal remedies that you take.
- Vols help Vols! As Volunteers, we look out for one another. If you see someone exhibiting one of the four signs of alcohol overdose (cold skin, unresponsive, puking and/or slow breathing), be an ACTive Bystander by Acknowledging the situation, Considering options, and Taking action.
When choosing to drink, it’s important to remember the legal aspect. Below is a reminder about some of the laws.
- The legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21. You must be 21 years or older to legally purchase or consume any alcoholic beverages in the state.
- Buying alcohol for someone who is under 21 is illegal.
- It’s a violation of Tennessee alcohol laws for anyone under age 21 to buy alcohol. It’s also illegal for them to try to buy alcohol. Adults age 18, 19, or 20 who use a false ID receive a fine of $50 to $200. The judge may also suspend their license for up to one year and imprison them for five to 30 days.
- The legal level of intoxication is a blood alcohol content/concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. The legal limit to drive for someone 21 years and older is a BAC of 0.08% and for under 21 is 0.02%. Any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can impact your driving ability because it affects your ability to concentrate, make good judgments and quickly react to situations.
As of 2019, beer can be sold to fans 21 years and older with a valid photo ID at football games. Choosing to drink is a big responsibility and we want you to stay safe. If you are 21 and choose to buy beer at the games, keep these points in mind to be responsible.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drink enough water to prevent thirst. Your body also loses water while you sleep so drink a serving before bed and again when you wake up. Did you know that you can bring a clear, empty plastic water bottle into the stadium? Complimentary water is available from large “Water Monster” tanks located in the concourse near student sections.
- Beer will be sold in 24-ounce servings, which is double the standard drink of a 12 oz beer. Choosing to drink is a big responsibility. Two alcoholic beverages can be purchased at a time by those 21 an older. That’s over four standard drinks. Make good choices and remember to stay hydrated and eat food.
- It’s against the law to buy beer and give it to your friends that are under 21. Anyone seen drinking beer could be asked by stadium personnel to prove their age with a photo ID. Law enforcement and game day staff will look for binge drinking, underage drinking, and other alcohol-related incidents in all areas of the stadium. Plain-clothes officers will also be stationed throughout the stadium and student section.
- Ride sharing and designated drivers. The best way to make sure that you’ll get home safely is to have someone who is sober drive you home. A designated ride-share area will also be set up on Circle Drive near Ayres Hall. Game attendees who visit the fan information booth at Gate 21 and register as designated drivers, pledging to refrain from alcohol consumption, will receive a wristband and a voucher for free water or soft drink. Designated drivers can register through halftime and will be asked to provide their name, driver’s license number, email, section, row, and seat number.
- Vols Help Vols! As Volunteers, we look out for one another. If you see someone exhibiting one of the four signs of alcohol overdose (cold skin, unresponsive, vomiting and/or slow breathing), be an ACTive Bystander by acknowledging the situation, considering options, and taking action. Text VOLS to 69050 with your seat number to alert staff to your concerns.