ATHENS, Ga. -- Authorities this weekend made dozens of arrests surrounding Saturday’s showdown between the University of Georgia and University of South Carolina football teams.
Most of the more than 70 arrests were alcohol related and involved college-age students caught downtown with open containers or caught the attention of officers as they staggered down sidewalks or across streets, Athens-Clarke police said.
Twenty people were charged with DUI.
Though police made more alcohol-related arrests in the downtown area than on a typical weekend when UGA is in session, one official said the numbers were in line with a major gameday weekend.
“The scene downtown this weekend was crowded and boisterous, but that’s not out of the ordinary for when UGA plays a major SEC opponent,” said Maj. Mike Hunsinger, who commands downtown operations for Athens-Clarke police.
Enthusiasm Saturday night ran high after the UGA Bulldogs defeated the USC Gamecocks 41-30 on their home turf at Sanford Stadium.
The arrests were made by officers from both the Athens-Clarke County and UGA police departments, as well as troopers with the Georgia State Patrol.
Most arrested college-age people and booked them into the Clarke County Jail with addresses in Athens and elsewhere in Georgia; 10 people arrested over the gameday weekend were booked into jail with South Carolina addresses.
Most people arrested were charged with multiple offense, like underage consumption of alcohol, public intoxication and possession of open containers.
But there were other offenses as well, including possession of marijuana and controlled substances, disorderly conduct and urinating in public.
Hunsinger said that his department considers a gameday weekend to last from noon Friday until early Sunday morning. For that time period, Athens-Clarke police beefs up downtown operations with additional officers conducting patrol by car, foot and bicycle.
As with most weekends during the college school year, Athens-Clarke police used its prisoner transport van to shuttle groups of those arrested from downtown to the Clarke County Jail.