Sports fans are notorious for tailgating. With portable grills, camping chairs and coolers full of beer, some say the best way to “watch” a game is in the parking lot, separated from all of the game time action. In Oklahoma, tailgating is an art, and almost “above the law” for college football fans. If you’re supporting the Soooners’, the “law of the land” is that your open container of beer is okay, as long as you are safely cheering for the team, and not out on the road, causing trouble.
Oklahoma law says that you cannot drink alcohol in public. You cannot be intoxicated or drunk in public, either. In either case, you could be fined and even put in jail for up to 30 days. If you have an open container in your vehicle, even if you have not been drinking, you could be in trouble with the law. Of course, if you have been drinking and are driving in Oklahoma, you’re looking at criminal charge and conviction, plus a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement. But, if you are simply hanging out with your Sooners friends, celebrating the game with a few (low-alcohol) beers, you are officially outside the law. You are a Sooners fan, tailgating… with a completely legal open container.
The celebration stops there, however. Sooners fans, keep in mind that as soon as you leave the stadium lot, you are fully responsible for the amount of alcohol that you have consumed. That means that you could still face problems with public intoxication, open container laws or driving while intoxicated. It is all “fun and games” until the last touchdown and you have to find a way home, especially if you have been drinking.
Your Sooners playbook should always include a designated driver or other safe way to get home, even if you are just a tailgater. Be sure that your “open container” of fun stays outside of the penalties for violating Oklahoma’s various alcohol laws, and you should be ready to cheer your team to victory at the next game, or season, for many years to come.