Student alcohol violations lower compared to past years

By megan studdard

News Editor 

Student alcohol violations are down 33% this academic year after a change in Piedmont’s alcohol procedure. 

Rather than arresting underage, on-campus drinkers on the spot, campus police gives students the option to spend the night in a vacant dorm room in Getman-Babcock Hall. 

So far this academic year, there have been ten students detained in the holding cell for drinking on campus. Seven students were detained in August, one in October and two in February. 

These students were not arrested, but rather, under the new procedure, taken in to the on-campus holding cell. 

The alcohol violations came from Purcell, Mayflower and Swanson Halls. Due to privacy concerns, the names of the students could not be released.  

The Clery Act requires every college and university police department  to possess a crime log and to file an Annual Safety Report (ASR). 

According to both of these documents, the number of arrests in the past two years are higher than the number of alcohol violations in this academic year. In 2011, 15 arrests were reported and in 2010, 14 arrests were reported. 

Martin said that campus police reports all alcohol violations, regardless of if they resulted in an arrest, too. 

According to Martin, underage drinking is not an offense that has to result in immediate arrest. 

“It’s just like speeding. Everybody who gets stopped for speeding doesn’t get a ticket,” Martin said. “It’s just officer discretion. If the person isn’t just so intoxicated that we can’t work with them, we have this as sort of like writing a warning ticket. They are still disciplined [by the school].”

Martin explained that, by taking students in on a campus level, it alleviates the situation of an arrest going on someone’s record. 

“It’s a good option for us, he said. “We wanted a way to work with the students if they are willing to work with us.”