Breathalyzer test awaits students busted at TCF Bank Stadium

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2009 - 1:26 AM

Get kicked out of TCF Bank Stadium? Next time, a clean Breathalyzer will be your ticket in.

A get-tough policy at the new Gophers stadium means that 15 students caught drunk and misbehaving at previous games will have to pass a Breathalyzer test to enter Saturday.

Officials believe the University of Minnesota is just the second university in the nation to require such a test.

It modeled the policy on one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has worked for years to curb bad behavior at football games. Last season, the number of students who had to blow before entering Camp Randall Stadium totaled 135.

It would have been easier to block all students who had been kicked out of games from coming the rest of the season, said Ervin Cox, assistant dean of students at Madison. Instead, "we thought, let's let them come, but they have to come sober."

U students who have been flagged are asked to enter through a special gate at TCF Bank Stadium, where they'll perform the test.

"So this isn't a system where a big red light buzzes and keeps them out," spokesman Daniel Wolter said by e-mail. "The burden is on the student to comply, and if they don't, there are much more serious sanctions."

Students who are underage must test clean to enter. Students 21 or older must blow below 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving.

"Overall, it's a decent idea," said Paul Strain, president of the Minnesota Student Association. "Just knowing that it's there will help people think about how they're going to act."

While Minnesota stole the idea for the program from Madison, folks there are coveting the U's name for it -- Check BAC, as in blood-alcohol content. Theirs -- Show and Blow -- "sure gets a lot of attention," Cox said, "but we like Minnesota's a lot better."

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