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Monday, May 27, 2024

You can always tell when a semester really kicks into gear. Yes, it's that time again - the biannual underage drinking crackdown.

Reckless freshmen, untrained in the arts of drinking without consequences, get pulled off bar stools, patted down and cuffed.

Apparently, the ID that their older brothers' girlfriends' cousins' best friends made for them wasn't good enough.

Not everyone can be McLovin.

Every semester I wonder the same question: Don't the police have something better to do?

Gainesville Police Lt. Keith Kameg has used the tragic story of Lt. Corey Dahlem's death as his reasoning for the recent crackdown.

While many UF students feel sympathy for Lt. Dahlem's family, myself included, it seems like a poor, not to mention tasteless, excuse for arresting the freshmen who are out on Midtown.

The driver who decided to drink and drive, and ultimately hit Dahlem, wasn't even underage.

But after looking through newspaper clippings, I think I've found the reason behind the madness.

GPD reported it arrested nine underage females within one hour during the college football national championship game.

During my years here I've seen many things at the bars, but I've never seen any harm come from an 18- or- 19-year-old girl having a beer and watching football.

Recently, Phi Delt had sanctions lifted after allegedly harboring underage drinking. The reason for the lessening of the punishment was because UPD officers never saw the party.

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They heard of the party when they took the time to question two underage women on campus because one was upchucking in a trashcan.

They did not visit or call the fraternity house that night.

I wonder how that report looked:

Stopped two females, ages 19 and 20. One of the females was vomiting into trashcan. Both intoxicated.

Women reported they were returning to their dorms after a party at Phi Delta Theta Fraternity house.

No further investigation. The party sounded like a total sausage fest.

Good job, gumshoes.

So are the cops just out to handcuff teenage girls?

Or watch a kid deal with that phone call home to tell mommy and daddy what they've done?

Or get a fraternity into trouble?

If they were looking to crackdown on DUIs, you would assume they'd at least target people who drive. As a freshman, I remember only a select few of my friends from the dorms even had cars. The drunk walks home are a favorite, though slightly hazy, memory of mine.

Maybe more DUI checkpoints would be productive in terms of public safety, instead of pointless arrests inside bars.

All of this is capped off by the fact that the drinking age was raised to 21 in the '80s, meaning at least some of the cops making the arrests were legally allowed to drink when they were 18.

So, for any of the freshmen reading this, let me be your Yoda, if I may.

Here are some tips:

House parties are more fun, and you're less likely to get busted. Toga parties are an added bonus because you obviously don't have a place to keep an ID.

And last, if you're having trouble getting drinks, go to the busiest part of the bar and hold out money with your unmarked hand, since the bartender is usually too busy to notice.

Good luck young ones, and be strong.

Kevin Micocci is a fourth-year civil engineering student.

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