Underage Drinking Continues to Be an Issue at Boston University

Boston University Police Department increased alcohol-control efforts, following a spike in alcohol-fueled hospital runs, in the first week of February. BU Today, reported that 11 university students were hospitalized for alcohol related incidents. Half of the transports were under 21. In the state of Massachusetts, it is illegal to consume or possess alcohol before 21 years of age.

BUPD Captain Molloy reports that alcohol transports are up 7 percent over the fall semester. This concerning rise has the police department beefing up their patrols. Captain Molloy explains, “We are going to begin plainclothes enforcement,” stationing officers around and near the campus. Students should expect raids from officers dressed in plain clothing at loud or reported parties. In addition to plainclothes enforcement, BUPD plans on increasing police patrols, breaking up all raucous parties, and arresting and citing offenders.

Boston University is located in the heart of Boston, stretching out over two miles of Commonwealth Avenue. The university has its finger on the pulse of city life and is known for having a good party scene. Though providing an exciting backdrop for the students, the city atmosphere creates many dangerous scenarios when combined with underage drinking.

The MBTA B line conveniently runs right through the center of campus. In the past students have gotten drunk and had ‘close calls’ with the trains. A senior in the Boston University School of Management recalls, “One time one of my buddies and I shot-gunned three beers each and then dared each other to run after the T for as long as we could.” Not only does this pose a danger to the students involved, it puts the commuters at risk as well.

Drinking and driving is a threat everywhere; however, there is a big difference between Boston University and the University of Kentucky. It is easier to get drunk and find a car and cause a wreck in the city of Boston, than it is to do the same in the middle of nowhere, Kentucky. Being a city, Boston always has a constant hustle and bustle. Students are more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident on busy city streets than they are on rural community backroads.

Underage drinking has always been an issue at universities and colleges around the US. In an attempt to reduce the number of alcohol related incidents, BU began a mandatory alcohol education program for first year students in 2013. BU also launched an alcohol enforcement protocol, which includes extra police patrols in party neighborhoods, breaking up rambunctious parties, and publication of enforcement stats on the university paper, BU Today.

Students are well educated on the risks associated with underage drinking. They’ve been to the seminars, they’ve read the statistics, but they participate in binge drinking activities anyway. Arguably, pop culture shoulders a significant portion of responsibility for the antics of underage coeds. “I’m Shmaked,” a program that travels to universities across the nation features the partying that goes on at these schools. In addition to just featuring a party aspect, the program has been accused of promoting alcohol and substances abuse as well nudity. When “I’m Shmacked” visited the University of Delaware police reported that the Newark campus was near riot levels.

Underage drinking is the tip of the iceberg leading to many other alcohol related convictions. Boston Police take the matter very seriously and students who are caught in possession will often be written up and forced to appear in court. The 21-year-old legal age limit is not a recommendation, but a hard limit of the law. Avoid outrageous parties no matter how tempting, do not drink to accesses just to prove you can, and be safe. Too many adolescents forget to take the consequences into consideration. There is a better way to spend the weekend than getting your stomach pumped; do not be a statistic.

By: Nicole Vee (staff)

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