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Avoiding binge drinking during March Madness

Whether your team is winning, losing, or you’re just watching a game — more often than not, there’s alcohol involved.

“We try to have every single game on every single TV,” Hokie House General Manager David Copeland said.

Drinking during sporting events isn’t a new idea — but how much is too much?

“We always want to look at people’s eyes. You can usually tell by people’s eyes if they’re drooping or things like that,” Copeland said.

Hokie House is a popular bar in Blacksburg. Copeland said March is one of their busiest times of the year, especially with Virginia Tech hosting the first two rounds of the women’s tournament.

“People tend to go a little heavier on the weekends and any kind of sporting event,” he said.

Study after study has shown binge drinking increases during major sporting events. The CDC says binge drinking is a serious, but preventable health problem.

They define binge drinking as having five or more drinks on an occasion for men, and four or more for women.

Copeland tells us they try to know when to cut people off when they notice unhealthy binge drinking.

“We try to have conversations with people — that’s a good way to see if they’re too drunk. Even when we’re ID’ing at the door — if you can’t hold a conversation with me, you can’t come in,” he said.

He said a good way to keep binge drinking in check is to look after your friends who may be drinking heavily.

“Especially if someone is a little too far gone and it’s like, ‘Hey, they need to drink this water,’ and their friends are like, ‘I got it, I’ll make them drink it,’” he said.

The bottom line from Copeland — you can have fun while keeping an eye on your bracket, as long as you do it safely.

“When we notice that people are starting to get close, we’ll give them a water and say, ‘Hey, you need to drink this before you can have another drink.’ We want people to have fun, but in a safe manner,” he said.

Source: WSLS News 10

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