The association between alcohol-related arrests and college football game days

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Jan 1;106(1):69-71. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.07.012. Epub 2009 Aug 29.


Binge drinking has been tied to specific occasions, such as certain holidays and sporting events. However, previous research has relied almost exclusively upon self-reports of university students to document these associations. In order to address this limitation, the present study examined patterns of alcohol-related offenses occurring within the context of holidays and collegiate football games. Public arrest records from a university town with a successful NCAA Division I football program were examined for 30 days: 10 holidays, 10 college football "home game" days, and 10 control days. In total, 944 arrests were associated with the 30 study days. Results indicated football game days were associated with the highest number of arrests (F=24.76, 2/27 df, p<.001). Specifically, on average there were 70.3 (SD=35.4) arrests on each football game day, compared to 12.3 (SD=8.8) arrests on non-game "control Saturdays," and 11.8 (SD=6.3) arrests on holidays. Offenses committed on game days generally occurred closer to the football stadium than crimes committed on holidays or control days (F=165.05, 2/941 df, p<.001). Though efforts have been made to combat excessive drinking on holidays, more effort is needed to address the significant binge drinking among students and other spectators that is associated with high-profile collegiate sporting events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Football*
  • Humans
  • Students