Archive for Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Officers pour resources into underage drinking battle

As part of the new KU campaign to encourage responsible use of alcohol, students will study the Lawrence community to identify how best to get a safe drinking message across here.

As part of the new KU campaign to encourage responsible use of alcohol, students will study the Lawrence community to identify how best to get a safe drinking message across here.

August 21, 2012


The cycle starts again.

Thousands of new Kansas University students made it to Lawrence in recent days for orientation and classes.

Now a group aimed at curbing underage drinking hopes to leave an early impression about stopping another cycle that often involves a new set of underage drinkers.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces coming to town with freshmen coming here,” said Jen Jordan, a member of the Draw the Line Lawrence Coalition, which includes several area law enforcement agencies. “We want them to be aware of how our community feels about it.”

The group is stressing the importance of a series of special patrols in bars, liquor stores and in neighborhoods, plus recent prosecutions involving city and state social hosting laws.

Three people, two who were 18 and one 16, were prosecuted in the last year under social hosting laws after law enforcement broke up a party with underage drinking. Parents were not there in all three incidents, Jordan said.

“We just want for them to realize that people did get caught, and they’re going to be out again looking for house parties and looking for underage drinking,” said Jordan, who is also director of prevention for DCCCA Inc.

The penalties can be costly.

A 16-year-old girl received a diversion through the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office for a New Year’s Eve party, and her diversion costs included a $2,000 fine plus court costs. The other two cases involved 18-year-old high school students who threw parties. One received a diversion in Lawrence Municipal Court and was ordered to pay diversion fees of $1,000. The other case was in district court, and it involved $1,510 in fines and court costs.

All three also had to complete community service requirements, and Jordan said she hoped the incidents would raise awareness with both parents and students.

“We really want to encourage parents to sit down early and say, here are my expectations, here are the rules, and here’s what’s going to happen,” she said.

The coalition, law enforcement and KU officials also took some preventive measures last week and distributed “good neighbor” packets in the Oread neighborhood and at apartment complexes to spread the word about laws on noise and other issues.

Law enforcement officers also will continue the Fake ID 101 initiative. They deploy plainclothes officers at liquor stores, bars and in neighborhoods where parties often occur. The patrols also occur around special events, like KU football game days.

Officers with the Kansas Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Lawrence Police Department, KU Public Safety Office and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office work together.

“I think some students or some young people have seen the enforcement,” said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman. “They’ve changed their behavior, and they don’t want to be on the receiving end of a citation.”


LeBo 5 years, 9 months ago

Close some bars for 30 days during the school year. Start with the HAWK, then TONIC, and possibly the CAVE. Others stop playing with the public intelligence.

Daniel Speicher 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, because holding bars accountable to the established law of the land is the same as calling for prohibition........

Phoghorn 5 years, 9 months ago

My comment was in reply to our disapeardedededed spammer, not to Mr. Speicher.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

Waste of time. 18 year olds should be allowed to drink.

Steve Miller 5 years, 9 months ago

sure dude.. whatever, it is obvious they are not responsible at this age to handle it. impose some butt kick fines, that elll starighten em out ..

john heleniak 5 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately there are people at every age group that are not responsible enough to handle it just not this age group.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree. It's ridiculous to spend this kind of effort to try to keep stupid kids from doing stupid things that they are hell bent on doing anyway. if they commit crimes while dunk, prosecute the hell out of them.

john heleniak 5 years, 9 months ago

The drinking age should be 19. By this age the person will be out of high school. And If you want to close down some bars for 30 days you might as well add Salty Iguana, 23rd Street Brewery, the bowling alley, Buffalo Wild Wings, Saints, every El Mezcal, On The Border, every bar in the Oread, Tres Mexicanos, and Celinta Lindos. I could keep adding but I think you get the picture. And if you do not think these establishments are not serving underagers, then you need to open your eyes.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

I recall the same arguments being used during the Vietnam era. And drinking ages were indeed lowered in many states. Yet at some time in the future, under pressure from the federal government, all states raised the age to 21. And it was done despite what I suspect was heavy pressure from Budweiser and company not to do so. I'm wondering why the federal government would do such a thing, if there was no compelling reason? Unless of course, there was a compelling reason.

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years, 9 months ago

For those folks that do serve in the military, they are allowed to drink on the base.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 9 months ago

Not true. MPs check the bars ALL the time. Especially on TRADOC posts.

larrytdog 5 years, 9 months ago

My question is who gets to keep all theses $2000 fines. I recently had the privilege of sitting through a Tuesday morning at municipal court. 75% of the cases were M.I.P. At $2K per, somebody made about $40000 that day.

Why not be honest and just send parents a tax bill each year for every kid 18-21.

That's what this is really about.

Tim Quest 5 years, 9 months ago

Good job, Lawrence. Keep driving the kids' drinking behind closed doors where they can do more harm. God forbid you invest in education or getting kids to behave responsibly, in moderation.

Welcome to the Bible Belt.

rtwngr 5 years, 9 months ago

Education, really? You are going to sit there and tell me that none of these kids have had any instruction on the dangers of binge drinking, alcoholism, drinking and driving, tobacco usage, contraception, and what can happen when a boy sticks that in there? More education! We need to spend more money and tell them one more time because this time they'll get it.

I'll tell you what will work; revoke a greek charter or two for sponsoring any alcoholic event. Period.

Daniel Speicher 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, as much as I do support the laws that ban underage drinking (and I do) and the enforcement of these laws (which I do)... I might note that education, in fact, is the way to most effectively curb this phenomena. Have they received education? You bet. But, sometimes it's less than quality and it sure isn't enough in quantity. We need better materials taught by more passionate teachers and we need to show it to them day after day after day until they understand that binge drinking can (and, eventually, will if left unchecked) kill you and can more immediately lead to less than wise decisions that often can lead to legal reprimand.

Steve Miller 5 years, 9 months ago

It's all about money.. Hell, pickem up, let um set in the cooler for a day , then see what happens.

Steve Miller 5 years, 9 months ago

Addition, it's all about rich parents and snooty kids. The rich can afford to pay the fines, so it wil continue on..

geekin_topekan 5 years, 9 months ago

Isn't falsifying your identifying information a level 4 felony? Why not enforce the laws instead of handing out sweeping exemptions and pretending that it can;t be controlled.

Of wait, then all the felons at KU wouldn't be able to work in the kitchens or mow lawns.

Topple 5 years, 9 months ago

AKA The Losing Battle...

This is such a waste of resources. When is the drinking age going to drop back down to 18?

somedude20 5 years, 9 months ago

Can't have your cake and eat it too. Bottom line, if an 18 year old is responsible enough to be given a weapon and defend our country, then he/she are old enough to drink.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

DECCA is another money pit with its hand out further and further each year. They might do some good, but over all I'll bet there is very little value per dollar spent.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 9 months ago

Remember to do as I say, not as I did in college....

Lower the age, and quit wasting tax payers money.

Phoghorn 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, from the headline it sounds like the underage drinkers are having a battle and the officers are pouring something into it somehow.

usafJayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Parents, talk to your kids about drinking Natty. Before someone else does.

(Take them to Free State, or 23d St Brewery, at least. ::sheesh::)

Scott Tichenor 5 years, 9 months ago

Dumbest law of all time, not allowing 18 yr. olds to drink. Clearly a legislative decision created to pump money directly into the liquor stores instead of the bars as an intermediary. Kids, it's against the law, so don't drink! And while you're at it, don't have sex either because the governor wouldn't approve.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 9 months ago

No one can ever convince me that someone who can vote and go to war for our country should not be able to legally drink a beer. When they changed the drinking age from 18 it was all about the money. More money for the system.

Phoghorn 5 years, 9 months ago

So, when are they going to criminalize and crack down on missing the urinal when drunk?

kansasredlegs 5 years, 9 months ago

Shouldn't the law be entitled: "Adult Not Yet 21 in Possession." Unless under 18, they are adults, not minor children, in every aspect under the law except alcohol. We can only blame ourselves since we vote the legislators in who pass these idiotic laws albeit for federal highway dollars.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 9 months ago

When the Reagan administration forced all states to raise their legal drinking age to 21 (under penalty of losing federal highway funds) American society got exactly what we did NOT want -- a population of binge-drinking, drunk-driving, litter-throwing young citizens.

They were suddenly "underage" only because the law got changed to penalize them for...being young. In all other respects they were considered adults, legally able to marry, start a business, buy a car or house. They could still vote in elections; they could be drafted into the military; they could enlist in the military. They could be sent into battle (and they still are).

But...they can't buy beer? What political lunacy inspired this cockeyed arrangement? What political stupidity allows it to continue? The present drinking age law disrespects the 18-to-21 year old age group. And how does that work? They disrespect us right back -- that's how it works.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Why do you think the drinking age was raised from 18 to 21? What justification was given at that time to justify the federal government twisting the arms of all 50 states?

john heleniak 5 years, 9 months ago

Wasn't it Mrs. Bob Dole that stuck this legislature on the back end of the highway funds? To get highway funds from the US government the states had to raise the drinking age.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

But, why? What was the justification for doing this? Was it just a slow day in Washington that day? Was it an attempt to promote binge drinking by underage people? Why did they do it?

Joe Hyde 5 years, 9 months ago

The political atmosphere of the early 1980s was characterized by Republican politicians first embrace of the Christian Right as a means of securing the "conservative" vote. In those days you had all manner of evangelist-type TV programs in which ministers of various conservative persuasions attacked many social behaviors previously seen by politicians as relatively harmless.

Of course, the TV evangelist's stock in trade has always been to sanctimoniously condemn nearly everything those "sin-filled" young people want to do. Especially anything that makes them feel good, look good or have more fun than old people are having.

My feeling has always been that the Reagan administration (composed largely of personnel who grew up drinking at 18) signed off on imposing this 21-year old drinking law so they could more easily suck up to the Christian Right crowd. That would let Reagan and other Republican candidates blather endless drivel about how the Republican party is "the party of morality and rightness in America". And all that BS.

I also mark the Reagan presidency as the beginning of the Republican party's cynical and hypocritical behavior in terms of verbally championing the virtues of personal liberty...while imposing a galaxy of laws that restrict the personal choices of people they seemingly have an obsession to dominate.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Here is my memory of the debate at that time. As the Vietnam War raged, there were calls to lower the drinking age to 18 in the states that did not allow that. Of course, we in Kansas could drink 3.2 beer, but many states still had laws that didn't allow drinking until age 21. As those states lowered their drinking ages, there were spikes in DUI related accidents (deaths) in that 18-21 age group. So after the war was over, and that argument about them going off to war but not being able to buy a beer was no longer applicable, there was then a call for a raising of the drinking age.

Now if you would like to say that one of the unintended consequences of that movement has been binge drinking, then maybe all we did was trade one problem for another. Then again, should we revert to the good old days, we may yet again encounter a similar trade off.

Anyway, that's how my memory remembers those events.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 9 months ago

Hit the nail squarely on its head...Go Joe!

Joe Hyde 5 years, 9 months ago

The drinking occurs because the 18-to-21 year old crowd is going to drink regardless of what the law says. But they can't buy alcoholic beverages themselves, and so they need an accomplice who is of legal age, someone who buys the alcohol for them.

Since the accomplice risks detection and arrest if too many small purchases are performed, the usual method of operation is to purchase fewer times...but each purchase involves a very large amount of beer or whatever. A stockpile if you will.

Once the underage buyers receive their they can't get caught with it, else they face prosecution. The solution? Get a group of friends together for a secret party and drink up ALL OF IT at one time. Doing this reduces their time exposure to getting discovered and arrested.

Then, after binging on their supply, they fear getting caught with all those empty beer cans and other liquor trash, and so they litter the ground where their party took place. Littering gets the physical evidence out of their possession. But it leaves horrible trash eyesores behind as a result. Then the party participants leave the scene, often totally wasted after consuming large amounts of whatever it was they were forced to guzzle rapidly.

This problem therefore stems from having their young adult citizen rights negated by ambitious political leaders, many if not most of whom were legally allowed to drink and purchase beer once they reached the age of 18 years. Raising the drinking age to 21 nationwide gave us precisely what we did not want -- a population of lawbreaking, self-motivated binge-drinking, drunk-driving litterbugs. They are scofflaws because we made 'em that way.

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 9 months ago

18 or not, I'm pretty sure if I see some guys face blown off in combat, I'm gona let a little steam off and get numb with a few drinks... Nothing wrong with that. Problem is you have a ton of irresponsible college kids, young adults and even some old adults that have to get stupid on a daily basis.

Clickker 5 years, 9 months ago

MADD had good intentions in getting the states to raise the drinking Law to 21. However, they should have focused on drinking and driving...not raise the drinking age. The unintended consequences are that most 18 yr olds +-2yrs, are starting with hard liquor or 6% beer. In toe old days, at least they were drinking 3.2% why waste your time? Of course, in most states it is completely legal to for a minor to drink at home with parent approval and in some states in bars/restaraunts if thier parents buy it and are sitting at the table. They should revise this to allow 3.2% beer for 18 yr olds.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

It is obscene that an 18 year old American can join the military but not drink.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 9 months ago

Look at the majority of the post on here and you can see what the majority thinks of the drinking age. Now, why does our police department think it should be priority number one to bust college girls with beers? Percentage wise, we spend more nightly police resources on catching underage drinkers than anything else (there are 14 officers on duty at night, and 4 are in two "bar cars", and this is independent of the task force officers paid with grant money).

UPrick 5 years, 9 months ago

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Crazy_Larry 5 years, 9 months ago

The police are a city's best fund raising resource. Stopping murder and rape dosn't pay to fix pot holes. Don't like your police state? Do something about it! Instead of watching "reality" TV and swiggin' natty lite, start organizing some opposition to this BS. Lobby to change the bogus laws we're being subjected to (selectivley). Those silly boxes are all we have (soap, jury, ballot, and ammo). Jury nullification is a powerful tool. We must learn to employ it .

Jonathan Fox 5 years, 9 months ago

In Europe where the drinking age is practically nonexistent, if you're old enough to buy a beer they don't really care. Kids are raised this way. This ridiculous drinking age only makes alcohol this mysterious substance college students have never had before. Once they get to college of course they want to experiment with alcohol, if we lower the drinking age so kids can experiment with alcohol around parent supervision it suddenly looses at least a decent portion of it's mysterious qualities requiring binge drinking to fully discover.

UPrick 5 years, 9 months ago

Well there has been a law on the books that allows for you to purchase and supervise your under 21 year old kid while they drink CMB(3.2%) for over 20 years. It just does not allow for you to make that decision for their 45 friends that they are drinking with on any given friday or saturday night.

Randall Barnes 5 years, 9 months ago

minor ... if you fight steal work pay taxes ect.... it is 18 but drinking you are still a minor till 21. so if you are 20 drunk and get into a fight you will go to court on 2 charges one as a minor and one as an adult no wonder the system is confusing these adult children.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 9 months ago

Jury nullification. We have to use it. We must also examine and change our jury selection process. Someone who serves on a jury should be disqualified to serve again until every other eligible citizen has done their duty.

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