DPS teams up with LAPD, others to curb risky drinking

first_imgThe Dept. of Public Safety, the Los Angeles Police Department and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control are implementing a joint strategy to prevent irresponsible drinking at USC, after significant problems last year.Last weekend was the first stage of DPS’ new long-term strategy. DPS kicked the semester off with a “trap door” operation, hoping an increase in citations would send a message that it takes alcohol abuse seriously.Friday night resulted in five people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, one arrest for misdemeanor traffic warrant and 12 traffic citations for an improper license DPS Capt. David Carlisle said.An LAPD DUI checkpoint Saturday night sent an influx of law enforcement to the streets around USC.Four vehicles were also impounded when the driver was either unlicensed or driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license, Carlisle said. Eight students were cited for alcohol violations, including four students who were transported to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.“We take alcohol abuse seriously,” Carlisle said. “We will not tolerate this. Students need to be responsible.”The university saw an increasing trend in toxic drinking toward the end of last semester as the number of hospital runs spiked considerably, Carlisle said. He said this concerned USC officials, so this year DPS says it will do everything in its power to ensure this does not happen again.DPS said that such dangerous drinking could have dire consequences.“We don’t want to see a repeat of last year,” said DPS Assistant Chief John Thomas. “Eventually someone is going to die. I would rather send a strong message now than see that happen.”Carlisle said misbehaving does not just affect individual students but also the entire community. The more attention law enforcement puts on students, the less they have for the surrounding community.“Every time a student is transported, they have to pull firemen to help that drunk student, and that affects the surrounding community,” Carlisle said. “The more DPS does not have to be involved in this issue it can free us up to take care of other issues.”To help solve this issue and to curb excessive drinking on campus, DPS wants all students to know it is taking action.“The key to being safe is smart decision making,” Carlisle said. “You’re not going to get in trouble if you stick around to help. Trojans care for Trojans.”Students expressed mixed reactions to the DPS crackdown.Tess Aktinson, a junior majoring in business and psychology, said there were inconsistencies in DPS’ handling of underage drinking and drinking in public.“[DPS] is doing a lot of freshman programming and that is a good, proactive way to go about it,” Aktinson said. “It would be nice if there were clearer policies in place that the entire campus was behind. I know [DPS] is cracking down on open containers right now, but during football games all that goes out the window.”Michael Ramires, an undeclared sophomore, said to end underage and public drinking, the university needs to adopt permanent policies forbidding such actions.“[The DPS crackdown] will work in the sense that it will calm things down a bit,” Ramires said. “But the problem is this is just temporary. Students won’t care anymore about the fear of getting caught. That will wear off if this is just one big display instead of being consistent with citing people.”last_img

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