FanDuel - WFBC

October 10, 2003

Is the NFL responsible for drunken drivers leaving stadiums?: "What the NFL and the Giants are doing is saying is 'we're having a party, so park your car in our back yard, drink as much as you want, come into the stadium and get more wasted, and then drive home,'"
Associated Press story
Is public transportation a viable option in your town's ballparks? Selling beer is one thing, but this lawsuit contends merely opening parking lots up early for tailgating is negligent.

posted by danostuporstar to football at 12:27 PM - 34 comments

Well - In Canada if you ar caught drinking and driving the law can charge the bar you drank in as complicite in the crime for not cutting you off, or taking your keys away - actually I think they can personally charge the bartender too. But if stadiums provide public transit then I don't think they can be faulted. Also - what ever happened to personal responsibility?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:46 PM on October 10

Keep in mind Giants' Stadium is not public transportation friendly. what ever happened to personal responsibility? Its a dark tale too sad to tell here.

posted by garfield at 12:48 PM on October 10

i call bullshit on that. the traffic engineers would have something to say if they opened the parking lot at giants stadium closer to game time. as garfield said there is extremelly limited public transport to giants stadium....70k people need to filter in and out of that area in the small window of time it takes for the event to occur....you tell them they can't park their car until an hour before game time and 30k people miss the opening kickoff....guarenteed., also....i'm starting to get really pissed off at the attack on when i can or can't drink at sporting events. granted the boneheads who are out of control aren't helping my arguement but with the way things have been going lately it seems like only a matter of time before there won't be any beer sales at all at sporting events (ie yankee stadium bleechers....jets/giants preseason games)

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:15 PM on October 10

Selling beer is one thing, but this lawsuit contends merely opening parking lots up early for tailgating is negligent Under the Dramshop (sp.?) Act there might be an argument. Does anyone know if NY adopted it?

posted by Bag Man at 01:34 PM on October 10

the giants/jets are in dirty jersey yo!

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:37 PM on October 10

Bars in the US are generally held liable if they serve a visibly drunk person who then goes out and drives and has an accident. Why would the standard be any different for a stadium? We need to find a good sports-minded lawyer and get him to participate.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:44 PM on October 10

Bars in the US are generally held liable if they serve a visibly drunk person who then goes out and drives and has an accident. Why would the standard be any different for a stadium? IANAL, just a law student, but based on my limited understanding, bars are generally held liable for drunk drivers but someone having a gathering at their house are not, because bartenders are supposed to be trained to watch out for drunks and cut them off when appropriate, and can foresee better than someone not trained when someone might attempt to drive drunk. I guess the question is if NFL teams and stadium operators are more like a bartender or more like someone throwing a party.

posted by gyc at 01:53 PM on October 10

the moral of the story is if you're a bartender, don't throw parties. Giants Stadium cuts off beer sales mad early.....mid 3rd quarter. Brendan Byrne/Continental/$5 for Your Name Here Arena has the same 'close early' policy...end of the second period I think.

posted by garfield at 02:00 PM on October 10

NFL teams and stadium operators are more like a bartender...except the bar holds 80,000 people. it doesn't seem like the same standard can apply.

posted by danostuporstar at 02:57 PM on October 10

Maybe the stadiums should just raise the price of a beer through the roof to dissuade people from buying? Or maybe water the draught beer down beyond recognition? Wait, they already do. Guess we'll just have to take responsibility for our own lives and drive defensively on our way out of the stadium.

posted by usfbull at 03:02 PM on October 10

gyc, to me the difference is selling alcohol versus not selling. You profit, you take the liability. Or as they love to say on Law & Order, liability follows the bullet.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:42 PM on October 10

garfield: Giants Stadium cuts off beer sales mad early.....mid 3rd quarter. Brendan Byrne/Continental/$5 for Your Name Here Arena has the same 'close early' policy...end of the second period I think. Immaterial. I've seen a guy at a Browns game in the middle of freezing-cold winter (yes, the only NFL game I've attended) with his Daniel Boone/Davy Crockett leather water-pouch, and I know it wasn't river water he was carrying. People are going to get drunk, with or without stadium beer sales. If they cause trouble, they should pay for it completely. The only problem is all the other people who get hurt along the way.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:57 PM on October 10

Woops, no closing italics tag. Bad. Bad. (yes, I use Netscape.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:58 PM on October 10

wc2k2: People are going to get drunk, with or without stadium beer sales If the Stadium is taking due precaution, then I'd say there isn't much of a case against the Stadium operators. ...so park your car in our back yard, drink as much as you want, come into the stadium and get more wasted, and then drive home... This is an attack on tailgating, and this will not stand in this free and brave nation: 'Help, I'm being repressed!' Seriously, this is just another symptom of the overly liberal judicial system of America. Stop suing everybody and his third monkey's uncle already!

posted by garfield at 04:20 PM on October 10

Okay seriously, they will never take beer away from sports. Without beer, sports are empty. I mean this, and say it as a guy who is very passionate about both sports and beer. I left work at 3 today, and am drinking a beer right now, thinking about sports. If they stop selling beer at sporting events, I will be the first man to cut off his own leg, replace it with a hollow wooden replica, and fill that hollow leg with beer before entering the stadium. There are others out ther who are with me. Trust me on this. Also, the giants/jets are in dirty jersey yo! Crunk, I almost went Jersey on your ass (in an internet nerd sort of way, of course), but then I remembered that you're a local too. Hoboken represent! Observer Highway, baby! Bruuuuce!

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:25 PM on October 10

aw dude, i'm all bruce-d out after this summer: bruce this, bruce that. what's up? just brucing. bruce. so what the bruce happened last night? did ya bruce her? bruce yeah! bruce on! totally brucing! she was bructastic. took my bruce and just bruced it. no brucing way.

posted by garfield at 04:33 PM on October 10

Crunk, I almost went Jersey on your ass (in an internet nerd sort of way, of course), but then I remembered that you're a local too. thanks for clearing that up Samsonov, cause i woulda been right behind ya. (Lodi here. home of the Bada Bing!)

posted by goddam at 06:20 PM on October 10

Granted the boneheads who are out of control aren't helping my arguement. Agreed. It might help if the lawsuits were limited to them, rather than an attack on the stadium and league. I feel terribly for the family and this girl, but I don't want the rotten apples spoiling the fun for the rest of us. Also, their argument seems to contingent on the faulty assumption that you can't go to a football game without getting drunk. And that getting fans drunk is the whole idea behind the NFL and tailgating. "What they do is promote the concept that you can't have fun at a football game unless you're drunk". Oh, yeah, sure. They'll need the Tom Gamboa judge to win this one. (ie yankee stadium bleechers....jets/giants preseason games) Night games too, if I'm not mistaken. I think the fans started some fires a few years ago and to cut down on fires they stopped selling beer on Monday nights. I went a couple of times two years back and as a result only saw one fire. It's an improvement of sorts, I guess. As a proud resident, let me add... Jersey City Heights: Home of dogshit on the sidewalk and paper-stealing thugs. If anyone spots a gang of youths doing a NYT crossword puzzle, let me know.

posted by 86 at 10:55 AM on October 11

I don't want the rotten apples spoiling the fun for the rest of us. So you're saying that it's okay for some people to drink and drive, if they can control it, but not others (who can't) and so the stadium operators should be off the liability hook? I'm confused.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:32 AM on October 11

aw dude, i'm all bruce-d out after this summer: bruce this, bruce that.
No such thing. And slightly OT, careful about mimicing Smurf grammar, they're vengeful little blue bastards.

posted by lilnemo at 11:40 AM on October 11

Arnold said Lanzaro sidestepped that rule by giving the vendor a $10 tip and was allowed to buy six beers. The real drinking goes on at NASCAR events. Screw that $6 a beer crap, at a NASCAR race, you can bring 12 packs of beer into the stands. I've said it before, but NASCAR either has tacit approval or serious denial about drinking and driving. You can't tell me that an event that allows 150,000 sports fans to bring their own beer isn't a hindrance to public safety.

posted by machaus at 12:49 PM on October 11

lilnemo, thanks. i was going to let garfield off for that crack but i'm glad you didn't. cuz i live vicariously through you. and then i eat pancakes while listening to bruce.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:54 PM on October 11

Few observations from a brit: - went to a Jets game last summer and couldn't believe how drunk everyone was getting before and during the game and then getting in their cars and driving home, I remember mentioning it at the time - In England, drinking AT games is a no-no whilst the game is on. It's illegal to consume alcohol within sight of a football pitch (for alcohol fuelled violence reasons rather than driving) - Meadowlands is near impossible if you don't drive - Considering how drunk everyone gets, the crowds are unbelievably well behaved (away fans in with giants fans in their teams jerseys - try that at a football ground in Europe at your peril!)

posted by Brettski at 03:11 AM on October 13

Nobody is addressing the real issue here, which is the lack of public transportation. A stadium shouldn't be built in the first place if the only way to get there is by car.

posted by salmacis at 03:20 AM on October 13

This is not a personal-responsibility issue. This is a "How fucking stupid are the NFL and football fans?" issue. The stadiums open well before game time, expecting people to show up on their property and consume. They serve millions of beers, then stop an hour before the game ends. Now, if you went to a bar for say six hours, drank for five of them and then sat for an hour having a Diet Coke, would you be in any shape to drive home? The bar would get the crap sued out of them for being party to paralyzing a two-year-old. Why is it different for a stadium? For the NFL? Look, all of this comes down to what no one in America wants to admit alcohol shouldn't be sold in public places. Period. All those little tags at the end of beer commericals about drinking responsibly? Pure horseshit. Any amount of alcohol you imbibe is going to mess with you at least a little, and if you want to argue that point ... why are you drinking it? And the more you drink, the more out of touch with reality you are, and the less likely you will be to say, "Gee, maybe getting behind the wheel is a bad idea." You want to drink? Stay home and watch the game.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:45 AM on October 13

nemo, nice catch...but the media bruce blitz this summer was intense. sorry bill, I'm a fan, but I'm not a superfan; he's cool and all, but it was the like the secong coming, or some shit.

posted by garfield at 10:17 AM on October 13

alcohol shouldn't be sold in public places. Period. I guess we should close all bars/pub/clubs/etc as well. Nice idea, but completely out of touch with the rest of the world. Next to coffee, alcohol is part of humanity.

posted by garfield at 10:22 AM on October 13

That's exactly what we should do, garfield, and no farther out of touch from reality than the hypocrisy of a government allowing a mind-altering substance to be freely sold, then penalizing people for being under its influence. Is your argument that people can't congregate and enjoy themselves without drinking?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:23 AM on October 13

By the way, gyc, I'd prefer not to see the abbreviation "IANAL" ever again, and I don't even know what it stands for.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:24 AM on October 13

Is your argument that people can't congregate and enjoy themselves without drinking? I really don't have an argument, apart from defending the livelihoods of thousands and the enjoyment of millions. I understand the hypocrisy,(I prefer reefer myself; much safer, but far more dangerous according to D.C.) but I'd prefer less lawyers, less lawsuits, and just the drunk driver to pay. Besides, booze is on par with religion as culturally innate. Find me a culture that doesn't drink, and I'll reconsider. And I'm not saying people won't congregate without a little social oil, but dry gatherings usually occur at religious sites or with protest signs.

posted by garfield at 12:19 PM on October 13

Dry gatherings occur at my place all the time except when wc2002 shows up with sangria--not a religious word or protest sign in evidence either--and I have no trouble with this. OTOH, I think the smaller crowds at a bar or restaurant are much more easily controlled and so need not be outlawed. Meadowlands is near impossible if you don't drive You can say that again! I went to a Jets game 10 or 12 years ago, when I lived perhaps a 25 minute drive away from GS. My buddy, who'd gotten us the tickets, didn't want to drive there so we had to take a bus into Manhattan (over an hour), then change to another bus to the stadium (nearly an hour). Both buses were packed and going home was just a nightmare--I would have rather stayed at the E. Rutherford Holiday Inn and called my (then-) wife to pick me up in the morning.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:05 PM on October 13

bill, fair enough, but I think you know I was talking about gatherings on a larger scale.

posted by garfield at 01:19 PM on October 13

garfield, I thought you were referring to alcohol served at public places like bars and restaurant, and isn't that correct?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:52 PM on October 13

I was actually thinking of stock car races, arena/stadium sporting events, concerts, burning man, etc. - large scale gatherings. almost all include booze.

posted by garfield at 04:28 PM on October 13

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