Colorado’s Sober Section Bill Aims to Help Addicts Return to Large Venues
Colorado may soon become the first state in the US to require sober sections at its largest music and sports venues. Sober A.F. Entertainment, a nonprofit organization, has been working with state lawmakers on a bill that would mandate substance-free seating areas for venues with over 7,000 seats.
Founder Duke Rumely says that the need for sober sections is great, as they provide a safe and enjoyable environment for those in recovery. Sober A.F. Entertainment currently has designated sober areas and tailgates at music festivals, concerts, and sports games. The proposed bill, SB23-171, would require at least 4% of seating to be designated as a substance-free zone, affecting 13 venues across the state.
The bill would require marked sober sections where the use of alcohol, marijuana, vapes, and tobacco would be prohibited. Venues that do not comply with the bill could risk losing their liquor license.
Vince Huseman, the music program director for the sober activity community The Phoenix, says that sober sections are crucial in helping recovering addicts return to their favorite activities. Huseman is six years sober and understands the challenges of attending events where drugs and alcohol are present. He says that having designated substance-free areas would allow recovering addicts to enjoy the music and sporting events they love without fear of being triggered.
“I think this bill could really help to support people to get back out to the music and the sporting events that they really enjoy so much,” Huseman told CBS news.
The bill has received support from various organizations, including the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health and the Colorado Coalition of Clubs. The Office of Behavioral Health states that sober sections could provide a safer environment for those in recovery, while the Colorado Coalition of Clubs believes that the bill could help reduce incidents of drunk driving and underage drinking.