EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — In a few short weeks, college students will be headed to campus for the fall semester. Pennsylvania State Police are enforcing a program to crackdown on underage drinking.
The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement has been pushing this program for years. They say it’s a 2-fold approach to slowing down underage drinking, education, and prevention.
“It’s an annual event that kind of corresponds when students are coming back to school at colleges and universities,” says Sgt. Reeve Mott, District Office
The College Enforcement and Public Awareness Initiative aims to cut down the number of underage drinkers. The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement goes to local colleges to promote the program.
“We have a choice presentation. It goes over the risks of drinking alcohol, the penalties associated with underage drinking possession or furnishing to minors,” says Mott.
Minors can face fines from $500 to $1000, plus 90 days behind bars and/or community service. Police also push the program at establishments that serve alcohol.
“No one under 21, make sure you’re carding people. Make sure that you’re not serving anyone who isn’t of legal age. And then we’ll reinforce the penalties associated with that also,” says Mott.
They also partnered with local law enforcement near college campuses to monitor problem areas.
“We’ll be in uniform so it’s very visible that we’re there. We also do undercover stuff where we’re watching and observing to see what’s going on,” says Mott.
Sergeant Mott says their district enforcement office hasn’t seen an increase in the number of underage drinking cases in some time. He believes programs like this are great for prevention.
“We are looking, so make sure you’re in compliance with the law,” says Mott.
The program runs from mid-August through October, but police are always on the lookout for underage drinking.