Five people arrested for alcohol-related charges at Foxfield Races

Only two people sent to the emergency room, 38 visit medical tent

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Five people were arrested on alcohol-related charges this year during the 40th annual Foxfield Races, which took place April 29, in addition to one person being ticketed for possession of marijuana. Two out of the five individuals arrested were University students.

Three out of the five arrests were made specifically for public swearing and intoxication, one of which was also for public urination. One arrest was for disorderly conduct and one was a DUI charge.

These numbers represent a decline in arrests as compared to previous years. In 2016, there were 20 arrests made at Foxfield as opposed to seven arrests in 2015, 18 in 2014 and 33 in 2013. This general decline in arrests can be attributed to an effort to make sure people understand the expectations at Foxfield and use safety practices.

“The Albemarle County police department really tries to educate as much as possible in advance,” said Madeline Curott, a spokesperson for the Albemarle County police department. “And we just find that really helps because the race-goers know what to expect and what we're trying to do and, I mean, basically we just want to make sure that everybody's safe and they're drinking responsibly and just having a good time.”

The Albemarle Police Department has tried to educate people on the expectations of Foxfield and makes a special effort to reach out to and educate students because a large number of them attend Foxfield as a tradition every year.

These efforts include the Albemarle Police sending an officer to Grounds during the week leading up to Foxfield, in conjunction with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team’s efforts, to talk to students about what to expect at Foxfield and how to stay safe. They also issued a press release explaining general information about Foxfield, like traffic patterns and rules regarding alcohol at the event.

The police officers’ main goal is to make sure everybody stays safe at Foxfield, Curott said.

“It is an event for a good time, and so we just want to make sure that everybody's safe,” Curott said.

In addition to law enforcement issues, there were also 38 people that visited the medical tent with medical issues. Only two of these cases were sent to the emergency room.

Fourth-year College student Sean Myrtetus describes what he saw at Foxfield as “a sense of camaraderie and community” among his peers.

“I felt like everyone around me was safe,” Myrtetus said. “I witnessed multiple scenes of students who did not know a person checking on them to make sure they were okay.”

With a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, dehydration was a major concern for Foxfield goers.

Myrtetus saw and heard “many friendly people” allowing students into their air conditioned cars in an effort to beat the heat.

“I could tell that people were not happy about the heat,” Myrtetus said.

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