Liquor law violations around Halloween dropped again this year

Campus police logged a total of 14 liquor law violations throughout Halloween weekend – on par with the number of alcohol charges during other weekends this semester.

This year’s total marks a five-year decline in alcohol violations around the weekend that University officials typically regard as the most dangerous for partying.

GW kicked up efforts this year to keep students safe with free bottled water, pizza and educational pamphlets in residence halls, after officials said last week that they’d noticed more extreme patterns of drinking.

The total number of violations over Halloween weekend has declined since 2008, which saw 30 charges from Thursday to early Sunday morning – compared to 14 this year.

And that number of violations doesn’t stand out compared to other weekends. The University Police Department has responded to an average of 17 cases for liquor law violations every weekend this fall.

UPD recorded eight violations last Thursday night into early Friday morning – which pales in comparison to 2009 when UPD reported 24 alcohol-related cases on Halloween night.

Alexis Janda, the head of GW’s alcohol and drug office, said the University created posters, flyers, palm cards and handouts in preparation for the weekend. House staff scheduled trick or treating, horror movie marathons and costume contests.

UPD Chief Kevin Hay said the department had a “full compliment” of officers working on the Foggy Bottom Campus on Halloween night. GW officials coordinated in advance with the Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Park Police and Georgetown University police.

The extra security has come after a shooting in Georgetown on Halloween night two years ago. That same night, a fight broke out among a large crowd of youths near the Foggy Bottom Metro station, bringing dozens of police officers to campus.

The Center for Student Engagement has escalated its awareness campaigns before historically big partying weekends like Labor Day, which had the largest number of offenses in one weekend this semester with 22 violations Thursday through Sunday.

Campus police hospitalized an average of 14 students per week during the first two months of classes this year – a 70 percent increase from the first couple months of the fall 2010 semester.

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