Indiana Excise Cracking Down on Underage Drinking at Tailgate Parties
Indiana excise officials are cracking down on underage drinking on campuses all across the state, and that has some students ticked off because they say the newfound strictness is taking the fun out of tailgating prior to football games.
Excise officers are working to “essentially change behavior” when it comes to alcohol related activities, according to excise spokesperson Corporal Travis Thickstun. Now, as part of the Intensified College Enforcement program, officers have their sights set on cleaning up six Indiana colleges including Ball State, Indiana State, Notre Dame, Pursue, Butler and Indiana University.
"The numbers of people who go to the hospital because they're too intoxicated, it's a concern to us," said Thickstun.
So far, the program appears to working. Police recently arrested 110 people at the September 14 Indiana University vs. Ball State game and handed out almost 100 citations at the September 22 game between Notre Dame and Michigan.
Excise officials say that student safety is their primary focus, as recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice indicate that nearly 90 percent of underage drinking happens in the form of binge drinking, which was responsible for killing nearly 2,000 college students last year.
Still, many students feel as though the crackdown has really put a damper on some of their social events. "It's like old glory died down. IU's just getting not as fun," said one recent IU graduate. "It's not bad; you can just tell it's mellowed down."
However, state excise officials say that while it may seem like just a bunch of kids having fun over a couple of beers, it’s not. "You were seeing kids that are belligerent drunk, falling down, can't care for themselves. So it's not kids having one or two beers."