Lawrence police and state agents moved into the neighborhoods surrounding Kansas University's Memorial Stadium last Saturday in a stepped-up effort to enforce liquor laws.
"Our goal was to reduce the flow of alcohol to minors," Police Sgt. Dan Ward said.
There were 84 citations issued for being a minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage.
Police and the Kansas Department of Revenue's Alcoholic Beverage Control also cited 33 people for consuming alcohol in public; seven adults for hosting minors at parties where they consumed alcohol; 15 for unlawful uses of driver's licenses; two for furnishing alcohol to minors; one for an open saloon; two for urinating in public; one for interfering with an officer; and two for obstructing official duty.
Before last week's KU football game, police spent three weeks distributing informational fliers to residents near the KU campus and training liquor store employees. The Regional Prevention Center of East Central Kansas also distributed information.
Ward thinks the educational initiative may have helped reduce the number of citations.
"When you look at how many people were breaking the law and how many thousands of people were in the area, the percentages aren't that bad," Ward said. "Numerous people we had contact with indicated they had gained the knowledge of what is against the law and what isn't."
But, Ward said the number of citations for minors in possession was a concern.
"So many things go wrong when minors drink," he said.
Ward noted that citations can be issued if people are found drinking on the sidewalk in front of their house or in the alley behind it as well as public streets and parking lots.
"That's a local and state law. It's been around for a long time," he said.
He also warned people hosting a party not to allow minors attending to possess or consume alcohol. State law in this case defines minors as anyone younger than 21. The minimum fine is $1,000, Ward said.
The enforcement effort was made possible by an underage liquor enforcement grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation, which was administered by ABC. The grant was used to pay overtime for police and ABC agents who worked. He estimated it cost $3,500. When resources allow, police may conduct enforcement again, Ward said.
Education about alcohol laws will continue in the community, he said. Police also will be checking liquor law compliance at bars, grocery and convenience stores. Underage youths recruited by police will go into the establishments and attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages.