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.”


Crazy_Larry 1 year, 8 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.


MacHeath 1 year, 8 months ago

The more folks that get busted, the more money Law enforcement get budgeted. "See...we did all that, now give us more money." Just like the "war on drugs". They need to bust folks, so they can get all their fancy toys. There is probably some pressure to sell a lot of ignition interlocks as well.


Randall Barnes 1 year, 8 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.


Jonathan Fox 1 year, 8 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.


flyin_squirrel 1 year, 8 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).


Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

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


Clickker 1 year, 8 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.


catfishturkeyhunter 1 year, 8 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.


Joe Hyde 1 year, 8 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.


kansasredlegs 1 year, 8 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.


Phoghorn 1 year, 8 months ago

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


Tracy Rogers 1 year, 8 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.


nugget 1 year, 8 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.


usafJayhawk 1 year, 8 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::)


CWGOKU 1 year, 8 months ago

I love puns in headlines. Nice new photo too! Natty lite, sweet. Bottoms up, kids


flyin_squirrel 1 year, 8 months ago

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

Lower the age, and quit wasting tax payers money.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 8 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.


Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 8 months ago

The New Coalition are a bunch of busy bodies whose own high school children are out getting drunk at these high school parties. Take care of your family first ladies, then worry about the world. Not to mention this group wastes $65,000 a year of tax payers money for this redundant policing.


somedude20 1 year, 8 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.


Topple 1 year, 8 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?


geekin_topekan 1 year, 8 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.


Steve Miller 1 year, 8 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..


Gotland 1 year, 8 months ago

Poliice forces shaking down citizens is bigger problem than underage drinking.


Steve Miller 1 year, 8 months ago

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


commonsenseanyone 1 year, 8 months ago

This is a massive waste. College kids are going to drink whether you like it or not. This is about money, SHOCKER! You bad bad kid, don't drink, and oh please pay the 2K fine. What 19 yr old has 2k lying around? As much as law enforcement hates underage drinking, they love it just a little bit more. One word, reform.


FarneyMac 1 year, 8 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.


Keith Richards 1 year, 8 months ago

Complete waste of time and more importantly resources. Meanwhile homes are being burglarized left and right and we have law enforcement worried whether a 20 year old at KU is having a beer at the Hawk on a Friday night after their sophomore year in college.


larrytdog 1 year, 8 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.


LifeInLawrence 1 year, 8 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.


JackMcKee 1 year, 8 months ago

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


LeBo 1 year, 8 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.


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