Police add patrols for busy graduation party weekends
Police have a new warning for parents about one of the most dangerous weekends for teenagers.
They say they have no choice but to put more officers on patrol this weekend and are asking people for tips about teen parties that could get out of hand.
Police will put their cars on the road, but say they need parents to be their partners.
It was a busy school year for Indiana Excise Police with some record-breaking weekends for underage drinking arrests from last August through April of this year.
Officers near Notre Dame made 140 arrests, 147 people were arrested at Ball State, 236 were arrested for alcohol-related charges near Purdue and 865 in Bloomington. At least one of the Bloomington enforcement days was a record breaker.
It adds up to almost 1,400 total arrests, plus higher blood-alcohol readings than in previous years and more binge drinking, too.
"The term 'blackout' has become so normal for our generation," said college student Laura Leyden, who is over 21.
Students drinking vodka and other hard alcohol to such excess they remember nothing.
"That's how bad things happen and people just joke about it," Leyden said. "I just think it's messed up that we think it's normal."
College students are mostly back home now and high schoolers start graduating this weekend. Now, it's up to local police to enforce underage drinking laws.
"We deal with them," says Fishers Police Officer Tom Weger.
Police say tips about underage parties come in from the public, who report large groups of young people in yards and on the streets.
"We want to do everything we can to prevent one of those parties ending in a tragedy," Weger said, reminding parents it is illegal to host alcohol parties.
"It does concern me," says Jerry Buchanan, father of a high school student.
He and his wife check out the parties their student attends.
"Call ahead, make sure there's another parent going to be there. Sometimes we've gotten that phone call, 'Can you come pick me up?'," Buchanan said.