How law enforcement will keep fans safe at UT-Florida game

How law enforcement will keep fans safe at UT-Florida game

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Vols fans were enjoying their tailgating tradition Friday. Vols fans were enjoying their tailgating tradition Friday.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Around 150,000 football fans are expected to be on and around the University of Tennessee campus Saturday. Emotions are running high for the UT - Florida matchup, but law enforcement will be out in full force to make sure fans stay safe.

Plenty of college football fans party on Saturdays, so police say they'll keep an eye out for people who've had too much alcohol.

"If you are driving while drinking or if you are out and creating a disturbance and under the influence, you can expect to be arrested," said police spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

He says being intoxicated could increase your chances of becoming a target for thieves or getting in a scuffle.

"When you're under the influence, you don't think clearly and you're more likely to get involved in some type of assault," DeBusk said.

The UT Police Department says after a Vol fan fell from the stands of the Georgia Dome at the season opener, people need to take care in Neyland Stadium.

"Making sure that they limit alcohol intake and watch the area to make sure the passageways are clear for them when they chose to traverse," said Lt. Emily Simerly, with UTPD.

While most officers are rooting for the Vols, they have a warning if the home team wins and fans try to storm the field.

"We will arrest people," DeBusk said. "We will charge them with aggravated criminal trespassing and if you're caught trying to entice someone to run onto the field, you will be arrested and charged with enticing a riot."

DeBusk says in 1998 when fans rushed the field, several people were hurt.

To avoid this, the Tennessee players will go to the fans Saturday night and help keep the celebration off the field.

Law enforcement also wants to remind fans to be patient after the game. If you're driving, go slow and watch out for pedestrians.

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