Tailgating at Boise State and the Law

A Guide for Safe, Happy, and Fun Tailgating at Boise State!

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Tips for having a safe, fun, and happy tailgating experience at Boise State

Who doesn’t love a tailgate party! Great weather, great friends, great food, and great football combined into a unique experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

However, some people see such events as places where they are no longer subject to the rules and laws that govern everyday society. It’s not uncommon for people at such events to go through a mental shift that makes it easier to forget that they are still subject to these rules and laws. Add alcohol to the mix, and it becomes even easier to find oneself on the wrong side of a pair of handcuffs. 

Remember – local and state laws still apply. Even on game day. 

In fact, there may be additional rules to consider when attending a tailgating event at Boise State University. 

So, before hitting the pre-game festivities, it’s a good idea to read the rules and regulations found at Boise State’s Website.

We’ve also provided this list of things to consider while tailgating at Boise State. Most of these tips are common sense. But as the old saying goes, common sense isn’t that common. So we’ve put together a list of practical tips to help keep you out of trouble, out of the hospital, and out of the hoosegow.

tailgating and the law boise state

Open Containers:

Open containers are a confusing and infuriating subject. If it is illegal to have an open container, then why are tailgaters allowed to drink alcohol on BSU premises before football games. Well, to answer that question, we have to understand what is meant by “open container”, in this context. 

Drinking from an open container means drinking directly from the container the alcohol was purchased in – such as a can or a bottle. In other words if you buy a six pack, and crack one open and drink from the container while tailgating, you would be in violation. On the other hand, if you pour that tall boy of White-Claw into a cup before drinking it, you’re in compliance with Boise State policy. 

Furthermore, the consumption of alcohol is only allowed with specified tailgating zones on the premises of Boise State. Specifically, consumption of alcohol in a cup (not the original container) is permitted in the private tent tailgating area. See the map found at Boise State’s Website.

So, in practical terms, what does this mean? It means that drinking alcohol from the container it was purchased in equals “open container,” and could result in a citation if you are caught. So the alcohol must first be poured into a cup before it can be consumed. AND it must be consumed within the tailgating zone. 

tailgating and the law boise state open fires

Open fires:

We’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing nicer on an autumn evening than a crisp bonfire. 

But imagine this: you’re tailgating, having the time of your life and suddenly you get the bright idea that something needs to burn.

Aside from making you the guy that nobody likes to party with, starting an open fire is not allowed at Boise State University (source).

So if you, or someone next to you says “hey, you know what would really enhance this experience: a huge bonfire”. Kindly remember that no, you cannot light stuff on fire during game day at Boise State University. 

tailgating and the law boise state fireworks


Somehow no discussion about open fires and alcohol is complete without at least touching on the subject of fireworks. 

For some reason when you put together fireworks, crowds of people, and throw in some alcohol for good measure, fireworks inevitably make their way into the discussion. 

So it’s something we would like to touch on here. 

In Boise, it is lawful to use fireworks from “June 23 until midnight July 5 and beginning at midnight on December 26 until midnight on January 1” (source).

And In general, the following types of fireworks are illegal in the city of Boise (source):

  • Fireworks that leave the ground…
  • Fireworks that explode
  • Fireworks that travel outside of a 15 foot diameter
  • Fireworks that emit sparks beyond a 20 foot diameter

So, on the off chance that any of those conditions perfectly align on a Boise State Game Day, and you want to light off some snakes or children’s sparklers, you MIGHT be okay. BUT, you should ask a nearby police officer or Boise State official beforehand, or risk looking uncool. 

tailgating and the law boise state are drinking games allowed

Drinking Games:

Does a sloppy round of Beer Pong or Fuzzy Duck sound like your idea of a good time? That’s all well and good, as long as you keep it at home (or at least off Boise State property during game day). 

According to Boise State, drinking games, or any activity that “promotes alcohol consumption” is a no go. 

As “Drinking games of any sort involving alcohol are prohibited during tailgating. Also, any activity which promotes alcohol consumption is prohibited(source).

Why are drinking games NOT a good idea? Well, as one college administrator of a different college so aptly put it: “The drinking games just lead to drinking too much and if you’ve got all day to drink, it could be a problem” (source).

tailgating and the law boise state open container

Public Drunkenness:

Guess who likes public drunkenness: that’s right, nobody. You may think you’re the life of the party, but in reality you’re just annoying everyone. Plus it can land you jail. 

According to Boise City code, it is a misdemeanor to be intoxicated “at a level that presents a danger to others or creates a disturbance of the peace” (source)

According to Boise State Tailgate, “State laws regarding use and possession of alcohol will be enforced on campus. Persons engaging in public indecency, disorderly conduct, lewd behavior and other violations are also subject to disciplinary action including arrest, issuance of a citation, exclusion and revocation of game tickets and parking privileges. ”

Pro tip – don’t walk around in public drunk, whether it’s game day or not.

tailgating and the law boise state drinking games

Underage drinking:

Last we checked, underage drinking is still illegal. And so is buying or providing alcohol for anyone under the legal drinking age. I know, it may seem harmless to give “just a sip” to a friend or family member who is under the age of 21. But police do check for illegal alcohol use, and they will enforce the law. 

tailgating and the law boise state marijuana

Illicit Substances:

Isn’t it funny how a celebratory atmosphere, coupled with the feeling of anonymity found within large crowds, can sometimes inspire people to throw caution to the wind and take chances they wouldn’t otherwise take. 

Add alcohol to the mix and you’ve got a perfect opportunity for otherwise smart, law-abiding people to make a dumb decision.  

So keep in mind that sparking up a joint, or hitting a THC vape, even outdoors in the midst of your tailgate shenanigans can still get you in a world of legal trouble in Boise.

To quote Mr. T – “Just say NO!”. 

tailgating and the law boise state open carry


We all have that one uncle – he’s a lifetime member of the NRA. He considers openly carrying his AR-15 to the Zoo is a worthwhile demonstration of his 2nd Amendment rights. And he thinks that everyone’s after his guns…

But did you know that, despite your uncle’s half-baked opinion that everyone needs to be armed with a deadly weapon at all times, it’s still a no-no to carry your weapon into a Boise State tailgating event, unless you’re properly permitted. 

According to the Boise State university website, weapons can only be carried in the following conditions

  • You are a Sworn Peace Officer (source).
  • You have an enhanced license to carry a concealed weapon (source).

But, you cannot conceal carry “Within any building of a public entertainment facility with a seating capacity of at least one thousand (1,000) persons” (source). This includes, you guessed it, Albertsons Stadium.

Furthermore, their website states “it is not lawful for any person to carry a concealed Weapon when intoxicated under the influence of drugs or alcohol” (source). So if you’re pre-gaming, and partaking in a few drinks, it’s not lawful for you to carry a concealed weapon anyway, even if you have an enhanced license. 

So remember kids, leave that AR-15 home on game day!

In conclusion….

We hope this list helps clear up a few questions and gives you a few things to consider before tailgating at Boise State. Public safety is a group activity. And the rules and guidelines are there for everybody’s safety. 

And remember – if you do end up on the wrong side of the law, we can recommend a good lawyer.

Want to know what to do during an arrest? Click here to find out.

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