A massive operation to curb underage drinking in college towns got underway, Wednesday, as Indiana Excise officers flooded six campuses across the state.
Move in week at Indiana University is among the worst times of the year for alcohol related violations, according to excise officer Travis Thickstun.
"Typically we'll issue around 150 to 200 citations during the week before classes start at IU in Bloomington," said Thickstun. "With so many new students to town, they're wanting to kinda test the limits; see what they can get away with. They wanna see if they can use a fake ID. If so, where."
This year, the Intensive College Enforcement (ICE) program has expanded from covering three campuses to six and added more officers on the streets. Thickstun expects the number of citations this year to be higher than in previous years.
A Fox59 crew rode along with him and a plain clothed excise officer as they patrolled in Bloomington. Within 30 minutes of the ride-along, another officer spotted a driver who appeared underage, parked outside a liquor store.
"Oh yeah. That looks, the driver, she's young," said Thickstun and then he pulled the driver over.
Officers found beer and vodka in the truck. The female driver was 20-years-old and accompanied by a 19-year-old female front seat passenger and a 21-year-old male backseat passenger.
Officers questioned the three and said the 19-year-old gave the 21-year-old $50 to buy alcohol. The driver told Thickstun it was her birthday.
"You're going to drop him off and the alcohol is going to stay with you two? Correct?" Thickstun asked the driver.
"Um. Yes," she replied.
The driver was issued a ticket for carrying alcohol as a minor and her backseat passenger was issued a citation for providing alcohol to a minor.
Then Thickstun told the passenger to pour out all of the alcohol. He said it's the only way to send a strong message and curb a big problem.
"We wanna let people know what will not be tolerated," said Thickstun.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun