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Spring Alcohol Enforcement Starts Today

Goal is to curb public and underage drinking


Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. And that’s not necessarily a good thing for the Boston University Police Department.

“This day often involves drinking and parties in the area,” says BUPD Captain Robert Molloy. That’s why his department’s beefed-up alcohol enforcement for the spring got a one-day head start. It begins today to coincide with the wearing of the green.

As in past years, this spring’s effort will involve “both Boston police units in the neighborhoods adjacent to West Campus and plainclothes BU police officers patrolling areas within the University,” he says. The goal is to curtail illegal drinking in public and among underage students. The enforcement usually begins the Friday after spring break, according to Molloy.

The BUPD believes its intervention with imbibing minors is one reason for this past fall’s drop in hospital transports of seriously drunk students. A four-year low 75 students were taken to area hospitals for severe inebriation, significantly fewer than the 114 medical transports the previous fall. There were 42 alcohol-related hearings in the fall, according to the BUPD.

This is the third spring of enhanced enforcement. The BUPD, along with Boston and Brookline police, launched more aggressive fall semester enforcement in 2011. The strategy was based on a University of California effort that significantly reduced off-campus student drunkenness. The University also requires alcohol education for incoming freshmen.

The spring effort “will continue through the end of April,” Molloy says, “and there will be additional resources dedicated to various areas on and around campus during special days.” Those include the statewide holiday of Patriot’s Day, which is also the day of the annual Boston Marathon, Monday, April 18, and this semester’s last day of classes, Friday, April 29.

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Rich Barlow, Senior Writer, BU Today, Bostonia, Boston University
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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