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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Excessive exercise

A couple of months ago, I was hanging out with friends and we decided to grab some beer.

We’re all of legal drinking age, and we figured it’d be a fun way to chill for the night. We popped over to Kroger and grabbed a pack.

As I was getting in the car, an undercover police officer rapped on the window and demanded to see our IDs.

At the time I was pretty pissed. It seemed to me the time and money could have been better used catching criminals than interrupting part of my friends’ and my evening.

Are the Excise Police’s efforts wasted?

How effective is trying to stop students from drinking?

During the Welcome Week weekend, the IDS reported that State Excise Police arrested 74 people.

Illegal possession and consumption, trying to get into bars with fakes, selling alcohol to minors, drunk driving; the rap sheet is long. Some of it I get.

Drunk driving is a terribly dangerous thing and should be stopped. But others are harder to categorically denounce.

60 of the arrests were kids too young getting caught. What’s that compared to the number of underage kids who snuck by? Monday, 7,708 students started their first year at IU.

How many of them do you think drank illegally?

How many were sent to the hospital?

I’m guessing most who drank had a fine, uneventful time. Maybe a bad hangover.

But drinking can be a problem for college students. The Pew Charitable Trusts reported that 18- to 20-year-olds have the second highest rate of binge drinking, beaten only by 21- to 25-year-olds.

It’s no surprise many alcohol problems can start in college. You’re free and independent, you want to have fun and cut loose and no one tells you when to stop.

It’s even worse if you’ve never had booze before, and don’t know what addiction looks like until it’s crept up behind you.

Police are never going to be able to stop underage drinking. College students like it too much, and where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I think there are solutions to alcohol abuse, but I don’t think Officer Friendly telling you peer pressure is uncool and showing you videos of drunk driving accidents works.

Lowering the drinking age could help. Give kids a chance to ease into it instead of going way too hard the first time they’re away from home.

It would save a lot of time.

Promoting the Indiana Lifeline Law is a good step, but more can be done.

I think it comes down to treating kids like they’re adults, instead of expecting them to transform overnight.

Give them time.

Give them more rights and responsibilities, and let them grow on their own.

Maybe then we won’t have to arrest so many.

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