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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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Alcohol-related offenses spike during opening weekend

Ninety-four people started the year with a citation or arrest before classes even started.

During opening weekend, police cited 70 people for alcohol violations and 23 for disorderly orderly conduct and arrested one person for rape, according to the police reports. It was the first reported rape in Bowling Green since 2010.

“We’re always busy when we have an influx of people in the city,” said Maj. Tony Hetrick, deputy chief of the Bowling Green Police Division.

Though Hetrick expected opening weekend to have the same level of crime as past years, police prepared for the jump in crimes by adding three officers on patrol and running alcohol compliance checks.

Police send underage customers to bars and stores in town and try to buy alcohol and if they are successful, police cite the clerk for selling to an underage, Hetrick said.

Only two people were cited for the offense, which that training over how to identify fake IDs worked well for bar and store employees, Hetrick said.

Senior Curtis Armintrout was not surprised that 70 people were cited for alcohol violations during opening weekend.

“I’ve been here five and a half years and opening weekend is pretty bad,” Armintout said. “People do dumb stuff.”

Senior Emily Schlueter said the college atmosphere could also cause the increase.

“Everyone is excited to be back and going out,” Schlueter said. “That leaves a lot of opportunity for crime to happen.”

Offenses will continue to remain steady until October when it gets colder, causing crime to lower, Hetrick said.

“Less people go out and tend to have parties at home,” he said.

While citations in the city rose, campus police reported less offenses. There were eight, including three drug violations, two disorderly conducts, two alcohol violations and one robbery, according to the campus police log.

Capt. Mike Campbell, of the Office of Campus Safety, said campus police don’t report as many offenses as city police because they have a smaller jurisdiction.

The city population of roughly 35,000 is larger than the campus population, which is roughly 7,000, Campbell said.

“The uptick we receive is in the residence halls because people live there now,” he said.

Half of the violations reported came from residence halls.

Now that crimes will remain steady for a few months, Hetrick advises people take precaution and stay out of trouble.

“If you are underage drinking, don’t do it,” he said. “You may do it now, but if you do it a lot, we’ll eventually catch you.”

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