OPD sends students to jail in attempt to curb drinking
Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 01:09
Arrested Miami students will see more of the inside of the Butler County Jail from behind bars this year.
The Oxford Police Department (OPD) said it is sending their arrestees to Butler County Jail in an effort to curb underage drinking on campus.
“We have a growing problem with alcohol,” Police Chief Robert Holzworth said. “A lot of people are working together to come up with something effective. We want to encourage people to drink responsibly.”
The OPD arrested 64 total people for various offenses from Aug. 19 to Sep. 6, according to Holzworth. Additionally, there have been 51 alcohol violations during this time period. Many of the alcohol violations involved Miami students, according to Holzworth.
“We hope sending people to Butler County Jail overtime could have an impact on drinking culture in town,” Holzworth said.
Anything above a minor misdemeanor warrants an arrest, although, it is up to the officer to decide whether or not to make the arrest, Holzworth said.
Every time an arrest is made, the offender is taken to jail, according to OPD Sergeant Lara Fening. Arrests made in Oxford are often the result of underage drinking because it is a first class misdemeanor, Fening said.
“When we give a citation for underage drinking, the person can go out and drink again,” Fening said. “It doesn’t seem to be very effective. However, this is a different tactic.”
Sophomore Anna Serio agreed the new approach may be more effective.
“I think it is a pretty powerful practice,” Serio said. “Hopefully it will scare some kids into not drinking or drinking less so they are a little more under control.”
Holzworth said it is too early to tell if sending arrestees to jail will be effective. Serio said she has hope for the practice’s efficacy.
“For those more hesitant kids who are thinking about partying, I think this will really make a difference,” Serio said.
The OPD will continue its efforts to reduce underage drinking on campus in the future, according to Holzworth.
“I love Miami students,” Holzworth said. “I think they bring so much to the town but there are some people engaging in risky behavior. We are working hard with this issue. Our main goal is to make Oxford a better place.”