Archive for Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Underage drinking crackdown shifts from bars to parties

May 1, 2012


Law enforcement agencies in Douglas County are shifting their efforts to crack down on underage drinking this spring from bars to neighborhoods and house parties.

A team of Lawrence police, Kansas University police and Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control officers last Friday night patrolled areas around the Oread neighborhood. ABC officers did cite a caterer at an event at the Sigma Chi Fraternity, 1439 Tenn., alleging the catering company allowed minors to possess alcohol, failed to notify the ABC and police department of the event and allowed people to remove alcohol from the premises, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman.

“We had an idea there was going to be a party there, even though we didn’t get the proper legal notification,” McKinley said.

The enforcement was part of a local Fake ID 101 task force, and the officers on the patrol were given overtime through a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation. Task force officers during the fall semester focused on underage drinking and fake IDs at Lawrence bars, but McKinley said last Friday’s operation shifted the focus to house parties and violations away from the bar scene.

“Springtime is a busy time in Lawrence when it comes to underage drinking,” said Jen Jordan of the Draw the Line Lawrence coalition. “There is prom and graduation, as well as college parties.”

Jordan said that last year 79 percent of high school sophomores in Lawrence and 84 percent of seniors in a survey said they thought if teens drank alcohol in their own neighborhood, the police would not catch them.

“We know that perception drives behavior,” she said.

McKinley said that officers, some of whom were in plain clothes and some in uniform, ticketed 11 people Friday as part of the patrol. Some received more than one charge on their ticket.

Eight citations were issued for a minor in possession of alcohol, and four were for possession or use of a fake ID or another’s driver’s license. Police also issued three citations for carrying an open container in public. Two people were arrested for driving under the influence, although McKinley said at least one of those arrests occurred in west Lawrence after officers were ending their patrol.

The caterer for the event at Sigma Chi, Bartenders on the Go of Topeka, received a hearing date for its administrative citation. McKinley said caterers are required to notify both the ABC and chief of police about events they are handling.

“It’s important for us to check compliance at those type of events,” he said.

Blaine Kaehr, the Sigma Chi chapter president, said Tuesday the fraternity was still investigating the incident. A woman who answered the phone at the catering business Tuesday asked a report to call back later, but officials at the business could not be reached later in the day.

McKinley said the task force plans to conduct additional operations this spring.


Vinny1 5 years, 10 months ago

You can drive a vehicle at 16. You can fight in a war at 18. You can buy cancer causing cigarettes at 18. You are legally an adult and on your own at 18. You can legally drink a beer at 21. If it makes sense, the US government does the opposite.

The view and taboo subject of drinking in this country is just stupid. Rather than talk about avoidance and how everyone will die if you drink, we need to teach drinking responsibly. Kids are going to drink anyway, and the results would be far better.

Keith 5 years, 10 months ago

This is another example of a government mandate forced on the states. What Democrat was responsible for this outrage, what's that, it wasn't a Democrat? It was St. Ronnie of the Reagan? Oh no!

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

Can we put 18 year olds through "responsible drinking boot camp?"

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 10 months ago

Only if we can put them through a "Responsible-Do-Everything-Else" boot camp, and find a "Responsible Adult" to supervise. Good luck.

Jonathan Fox 5 years, 10 months ago

In Europe, a place where drinking is much more prevalent in all age groups, you can buy a beer at 16 in most places. And Europe also has incredibly less problems with alcohol.

And to think that eliminating the rebelious law breaking aspect of alcohol, along with the ability of teenagers growing up with parents teaching them about alcohol would drop kids doing stupid things with alcohol.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Up to a point I agree, but the Brits are really struggling with this. Their kids are a mess.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 10 months ago

Europeans also don't drive cars as often as we do here. They have awesome public transportation.

Curtis Lange 5 years, 10 months ago

They also have MUCH more stringent driving laws than we do. The stereotype of being able to get a US drivers license out of a Cracker Jack box isnt far off. It is embarrassing.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

You have to notify the police if you have a party? When did that happen? That seems a little onerous. Does it apply to everyone or just college students?

NotASquishHead 5 years, 10 months ago

Just to catered events, not your regular backyard party, etc.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

so if I have a chrustmas party catered at my house I have to notify the police? You can't be serious.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 10 months ago

Per the story, the catering company is responsible.

"McKinley said caterers are required to notify both the ABC and chief of police about events they are handling. "

Curtis Lange 5 years, 10 months ago

What a waste of time/money. +1 to what Vinny said.

juma 5 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone remember the Vern Miller raid? Is this what we are expecting? What next Quantrill's grandson comes to town and burns down the Oread! Oh wait, the Cave has a 'special license'

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 10 months ago

Vern Miller! Automobile companies don't makethe trunk that big any more.

Enlightenment 5 years, 10 months ago

I think the US should abolish the drinking age, legalize drugs, and stop only teaching abstinence. Take a look at other countries that have done so and you'd see that they do not have near the problem the US does with teenage pregnancy, crime and addiction with illegal drugs, and lack of responsibility when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

+1 Good points, but you are dealing with logic here, not the approved ideology. Smaller government is good, until the advocates want to make government intrude into private lives and personal decisions. Good luck, though.

Quantrillsghost 5 years, 10 months ago

Amsterdam and Germany for instance! Hooorahhh!!!

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 10 months ago

Future soundoff question "I'm ordering take-out tonight and am having a friend over, what is the best phone number to reach the police and notify them"

Scott Tichenor 5 years, 10 months ago

Legal drinking age, 21... dumbest law every passed.

Who thinks that's really preventing kids in college from drinking?

strateup 5 years, 10 months ago

It sounds like Jen Jordan is a busybody! Let our tax dollars bust all those dangerous criminal underage drinkers! Wow! Only in Lawrence.

jjt 5 years, 10 months ago

Excuse me. It may be fair to say some kids do stupid things but by and large most British kids grow up with Beer or Wine so do not abuse it. Rules about drink and drive for example where I used to live include if you get caught over the limit you WILL spend a night in Prison. This acted as a major deterrent. It is clearly ridiculous that a 20 year old in command of a multi million dollar tank can not drink a can of Bud Lite.

AND what exactly are the rules for teenagers at home with their parents at Sunday lunch are they allowed to have a glass of wine? How does someone under the age of 21 take communion?

Michael Bennett 5 years, 10 months ago

For those college students that are under age, YOU DO NOT HAVE to give the police ID unless you are in a vehicle. You can say no. IT IS YOUR HOUSE. They have to have probable cause to believe you are under 18. Make them go get a warrant. They have to have a search warrant to enter the premises unless you let them in.. You don't have to breath into a breathalyzer absent a warrant.

salinalawrence 5 years, 10 months ago

"shifts"!? Can we not just monitor both at the same time? Come on, LPD.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 10 months ago

I apparently am a faster runner than either you or your kid.

asixbury 5 years, 10 months ago

A house party I was at was busted. I was outside when the cops drove up. I merely moved to the yard beside the house and talked to the neighbors like I belonged there. The cops even asked if I was at that party. I just said "No." As soon as they went in the house, I left. Couldn't believe it worked. The neighbors probably thought I was crazy, but it's better than getting in trouble with the law!

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

What is the justification the police are using for entering private property? Do they have search warrants? Are they arguing that the mere fact the people have congregated at a residence gives then the power to search the premises? It sounds like some kids need to take a basic course in their constitutional rights and that some police are drastically overstepping their powers. Shame on Jen Jordan and her prohibitionist crusade.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure Jen is also a proud member of MADD

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

I wasn't talking about catered events, at least here.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 10 months ago

I am old enough to enjoy a time when the cops took you home if needed and came to party with you when they got off of work. Riding around, half dressed in a pickup with a keg or two on the tailgate. Now they are in the business of screwing you, taking your money and giving it to a bloated governmental system that just keeps growing and needing more money.

The world would be a much better place if people would mind their own business, or at least make sure they are in full compliance with the law before passing judgement on others.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Some of this is interesting:

Overall, as with any group, it's not fair to say "All.......... are." On the other hand, there are clearly some youngsters who binge drink and have trouble handling the consequences. By LJW "standards," this is actually a pretty good discussion.

renewalS1 5 years, 10 months ago

Why dont they just walk into the fraternities on any given day? Thats a goldmine for MIPs.

Quantrillsghost 5 years, 10 months ago

Aw come on LPD..just 11 citations? Is that the best you can do? How many of ya'll remember when the drinking age was just 18 here in Kansas and especially Lawrence town? Who changed THAT law? Those people again who think they know whats best for others? Were they democrats, republicans?

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 10 months ago

Not sure about breathalizers at the house, but did a DUI case for jury duty a few weeks back and found out some interesting facts. If you get pulled over by the cops and refuse to submit to a breathalizer test, you will be arrested drunk or not. Kansas is an implied consent state and by agreeing to have a valid drivers licence, your agreeing to submit to a breathalizer test if asked to do so when pulled over by the police. Better yet, its an automatic 1 year suspension of your drivers licence and you get to install and pay for a breathalizer / ignition interlock device for your car for a period of up to 1 year.. Something to think about for all those who think they can beat a DUI by refusing to take a breath test. You could avoid the DUI conviction, but your still gona get body slammed lol.

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