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Monday, September 20, 2021

In most people's minds, alcohol and tailgating go together like rum and Coke.

But if the University and Gainesville Police departments have any say, they'd tell you to keep your cups inside designated tailgating areas or else you'll have a citation coming your way. Sure, this old-fashioned ordinance sucks, but it's not a huge downer. It's not like they've outlawed all alcohol on game days.

Officers used to be stricter. One rather infamous incident was at the 2005 home game versus Tennessee, when two out-of-state fans were taken to jail for their open containers. Florida residents are only given written citations. After much public outrage, the policy was amended so out-of-state visitors receive the same punishment as Floridians.

Only 31 citations were issued at the first football game, so we can only hope tailgaters are getting smarter. While it would be nice to keep drinking right up to the last second before entering the Swamp, pounding that last Bud Light before beginning the sobering march to the stadium isn't too bad of an alternative. Don't let the police officers hold back your partying ways. Just be smart about it. And we've got to say it, as much as it pains us: Nobody likes a sloppy Gator, especially standing in front of him or her in the sweltering Swamp.

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