MIT Frat House Cited for Operating as Night Club – Criminal Charges to Follow?

According to Boston police, MIT’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity house was being “operated as a nightclub” on Sunday night, complete with a DJ and strobe lights. The fraternity failed to obtain the City of Boston License Division’s approval, but the problems don’t stop there. Underage drinking, a waterfall pouring down a marble staircase, and other hazardous conditions have resulted in the issuance of a violation to the fraternity’s president.

The inspection of the premises came after Boston police saw a “line of approximately 40 college-aged persons awaiting entry” into the fraternity house. During the inspection, detectives talked to a fraternity member who was stationed at the front door to record the number of people inside the building. When asked by police, he responded that there were 116 people inside.

Staircase Waterfalls and Underage Drinking

Upon entering the house, detectives found an 18-year-old man drinking a beer, and discovered that the first floor was operating as an unlicensed nightclub. They also found the building’s occupancy to be “well in excess” of the posted limit, which is 39 persons. The waterfall, which had been installed on an upper floor, was cascading down the house’s central staircase, “soaking the marble staircase and adding to the hazardous conditions presented by the excessive occupancy,” police reported.

“Students should be advised that my officers are out there checking and making sure they do the right thing and the safe thing,” said Boston police Commissioner William Evans. A MA criminal defense lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with a criminal offense.

Police evacuated the house following the inspection, issuing a violation to the MIT chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Listed in the violation were multiple offenses, including underage drinking, overcrowding, hazardous conditions, and having an unlicensed DJ without prior approval.

“Our goal is not to put a damper on students’ fun, but when we see conditions that put these students’ safety at risk — underage drinking, waterfalls down marble staircases, fire hazards and overcrowding — we are obligated to step in and shut it down,” said Evans.

Frat Houses Under Scrutiny

Law enforcement has been cracking down on fraternity houses in the wake of multiple deadly hazing incidents. The most recent death occurred earlier this year at Penn State University, when 19-year-old Tim Piazza died after falling down the stairs while intoxicated. Eighteen members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity were charged in Piazza’s death. A Boston criminal defense lawyer can help you protect your rights if you’ve been charged with a crime.

Criminal Charges?

Whether or not criminal charges will arise from the Phi Delta Theta party is as yet unknown. Furnishing alcohol to minors is a crime in MA, however, so charges are likely. Even if the underage guests brought their own alcohol, the party hosts can still be on the hook. Furnishing alcohol to a minor includes allowing minors to consume alcohol on private property. The penalties for this offense include a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Criminal Defense Law Firm Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas

If you are facing charges for any type of criminal offense, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our experienced, knowledgable team will review your case to determine the best strategy for moving forward. We will position you for the most favorable outcome and will remain by your side throughout the entire process. If you have been charged with underage drinking, assault, theft, or any criminal offense, we can help. Our lawyers have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. We understand that good people make mistakes. Don’t make another one by hiring the wrong counsel. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.








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