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Campus Life + Health & Wellness

2017–2018 Medical Alcohol Transports Down from Previous Year

Enhanced enforcement patrols resume today, continue through November

Fewer students were sent to the hospital for extreme inebriation during the last academic year than the one before (142 versus 186). Transport numbers have seesawed from year to year and last year’s reduction may be owed to “many different factors,” says Katharine Mooney (SPH’12), director of BU’s Wellness & Prevention office, such as improved University enforcement and student messaging on safe drinking.

line chart showing medical alcohol transports by legal age at boston university during academic years, 2014-2018.

Students under the legal drinking age of 21 account for the overwhelming majority of transports, Mooney says. Underage transported students are required to meet with a Wellness & Prevention counselor. BU’s anti–excess drinking efforts include a mandatory online course for incoming first-year students, AlcoholEDU for College, that debunks myths encouraging alcohol abuse. In an annual summer letter to parents of incoming students and his Matriculation speech, Robert A. Brown, BU president, also flags the dangers of alcohol abuse.

line chart showing medical alcohol transports at boston university during the winter-spring semester from 2015-2018.

Transports during spring semester 2018 also dropped from the previous spring, echoing the whole academic year decline. One factor Mooney cites: inclement weather on this year’s Boston Marathon Monday crimped many parties.

line chart showing weekly medical alcohol transports at boston university during the winter-spring semester, 2018.

“We are continuing to see a trend where quite a few alcohol transports are happening at the start of the spring semester,” Mooney says. “We really need to start thinking about the beginning of January…in the same way that we approach the start of school in September.”

Both are times when students, fresh back from vacation, eagerly socialize and may “overestimate their drinking capacity,” says Alan Brust, associate director of BU Judicial Affairs.

Starting today, the Boston University Police Department (BUPD) and the Boston Police Department begin alcohol enforcement patrols to curtail illegal drinking and loud parties and reduce the number of hospital transports.

The alcohol enforcement patrols began in 2011, modeled on a successful University of California initiative that cut on-campus imbibing. The patrols will continue each Thursday through Saturday night through November 17.

“BUPD officers will be enforcing alcohol violations of underage consumption and possession within the Boston University area,” says Robert Molloy, BUPD deputy police chief, “with Boston Police Department officers enforcing consumption and possession and noise laws in Allston’s GAP neighborhood, Gardner, Ashford, and Pratt Streets.”

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

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

One Comment on 2017–2018 Medical Alcohol Transports Down from Previous Year

  • Matt on 09.07.2018 at 11:18 am

    That graph showing transports by age seems to make a strong argument for lowering the drinking age to be in line with other Western countries. By making it illegal for people under 21 to drink, we are depriving them of a safe place to first experience the effects of alcohol and thus encouraging them to engage in risky behavior. You are only kidding yourself if you think the current drinking age prevents people 18-21 from imbibing.

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