The Daily Gamecock

Carolina Cup plans crackdown on illegal drinkers

Cops focus on “cooler carriers”

In years past, it was difficult for many college students at Carolina Cup to spot a live horse.

This year, it might be a little tougher to find a beer.

Police officers manning entry points to the College Park area of Carolina Cup will make it more difficult for underage drinkers to smuggle alcoholic beverages into this year’s horse race.

Also, “cooler carriers” are now banned. Camden police chief Joe Floyd said these are local people who are hired to carry coolers inside, typically for those under the age of 21..

“The problem is that the carriers are underage and the vast majority of them have criminal records,” Floyd said. “And that they are vendors without a vendor’s license which is illegal.”

Floyd said the cooler carriers typically earn about $400 to $500 in a day.

Second-year public relations student Bernice Woodard will attend the race for the first time next month. She said that although the new law exists, it will not prevent people from drinking.

“I think people will still find ways to get drinks in, but it’s still a fun experience,” Woodard said. “It’s my first time so I’m just excited to go.”

Second-year film and media studies student Hunter Fowler will also be traveling to Camden for the first time with his fraternity, Beta Pi.

“I think it wouldn’t stop me from going,” Fowler said. “I think it wouldn’t be less enjoyable, and people are still going to have fun. It’s kind of like tailgating for football, but sororities and fraternities will be in closer proximity.”

The 79th annual Carolina Cup will be held April 2 at the Springdale Race Course in Camden The event not only attracts Greek life throughout South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, but also families who have attended for generations. The southern tradition has a huge economic impact for Camden and Kershaw county, Floyd said, but poses serious safety risks.

As of Sunday afternoon, Carolina Cup officials failed to return calls left by The Daily Gamecock.

“The biggest problem we see is the number of cases of dehydration,” Floyd said.

To prevent dehydration, Floyd said to keep lots of bottled water if you plan on drinking alcohol.