Getting Tough on Tailgaters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Getting Tough on Tailgaters

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- It's a fun tradition many Hawkeye fans have enjoyed for decades. But this year, police are getting tougher on tailgaters.

Darin Williams said he was "disappointed" to hear about the new rules.

"I've never seen any problems here. Never had a problem. So I wasn't real sure why we had to do it," he said.

Police and sheriff deputies are cracking down on current laws, like underage drinking and open containers.

"It's hurting the city as far as getting people to come to the school because people don't want to come to a school if they think they can't drink," said Danielle Huff, a 20 year-old U of I student.

But most people aren't upset about police enforcing these restrictions.

"Most of the people, 90% of them don't abuse it," said Tom Cannon, who's been tailgating at Kinnick Field for 32 years.

He and Williams are concerned about the new rules. Tailgaters will have to finish their beer no later than an hour after the game, and they have to pull out of the parking lot just one hour after that.

"An hour afterwards would be alright if you could get out of here," said Cannon.

"It's going to be a big problem here, they're going to find out. Try to get 75,000 people out of here two hours after the game, it's going to cause traffic jams," said Williams.

Drivers will also run into "vehicle safety checkpoints." Every fifth car leaving Kinnick Stadium is getting the once-over.

"If they stop every fifth car, you won't get home until Sunday afternoon," Cannon said.

New rules and all, fans are promising to continue their favorite fall ritual.

"Of course! As long as the Hawks win," Williams joked.

Initially, officers will issue warnings, not tickets, to tailgaters who overstay their welcome. However, if you're caught breaking current laws - like underage drinking or public urination - be prepared to see your name in print. The university is publishing a list of gameday arrests in a further attempt to change tailgating culture

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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