NORMAN, Okla – Only 48 hours left until the Sooners kick off their season with the first home game against Louisiana Tech, but it also marks the start of OU tailgates, which will undoubtedly include beer.
Oklahoma ranks number seven in the country for highest percentage of underage drinking and OU is providing training to help everyone stay safe this game day weekend.
We’ve seen the Sooners preparing for the season, but they aren’t the only ones.
Bars near campus are also stepping up their game.
“It’s going to be an incredible weekend, it’s opening weekend, the Sooners are coming off an incredible Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama,” Jeff Stewart, manager at O’Connell’s Pub right off campus says.
They’re all following the game day script.
“It’s been all week planning from food, beverages, all the accessory items that go with it, plastic cups,” Stewart said.
All to hold to the game day traditions, but they’re treading carefully.
“Serving alcoholic beverages has its own set of rules and its own set of problems,” Stewart said.
Problems OU wants to help stop with training.
“Priorities that we have are underage drinking and adult binge drinking, ” Charlene Shreder, Director of Regional Prevention Coordinator at OU said.
They give pointers on how to help spot a fake ID.
“Oklahoma has the song ‘Oklahoma’ in this blue background very microscopically and there’s some misspellings in it. It was done purposely so it can’t be copied,” Shreder said.
For binge drinking, they suggest having a Designated Driver and looking out for your friends.
“It takes about one hour to process a standard drink, now most places don’t serve standard drinks anymore, they’re generally double or one and a half times,” Shreder said.
Just in case you do have one drink too many, O’Connell’s says they try to help out their customers.
“We have free taxi rides actually. So, anybody who needs a ride or lost their ride, we have cards and we just hand out the cards,” Lindsey Lee, a bar tender at O’Connells says.
They do have a warning for anyone coming in with a fake ID.
“We’re going to do the best to get it and we grab them, we keep them, we’ve got stacks of them,” Stewart said.
If you or your organization are interested in having OU instructors host an alcohol sales and services training for you visit their website here.