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State police targeting underage drinking at colleges and universities

HARRISBURG — As the fall semester begins at colleges and universities, Liquor Enforcement Officers from the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, will be working with both local and state police in an effort to target underage drinking in and around campuses within our jurisdiction.

Officers will be meeting with selected campus administrators and campus enforcement authorities in an effort to reduce underage consumption of alcohol and pre-empt alcohol-related problems at colleges and universities. Officers will also be meeting with many liquor licensees in college and university areas in an effort to promote awareness, improve relations and reinforce preventing sales of alcohol to minors and other alcohol violations.

State laws pertaining to the purchase, possession, consumption or distribution of alcohol will be aggressively enforced. Any person under the age of 21 found in possession of, or consuming, alcoholic beverages will be cited under Pennsylvania’s underage drinking law. Pennsylvania’s underage drinking law is a summary offense and carries a potential fine of up to $300 and and up to 90 days imprisonment for the first offense. The fine increases to $500 for subsequent offenses. Entry into an ARD or pre-adjudication program counts as conviction.

Every effort will be made to arrest any person that supplies alcohol beverages to person under the age of 21. Any person, including parents, found supplying alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 will be charged with furnishing alcohol to minors, a third degree misdemeanor under PA Title 18. The penalty for the first offense is a minimum of $1,000 and up to one year imprisonment. The fine for a second or subsequent offense is a minimum of $2,500. Any person charged with this section will be fingerprinted and photographed as part of the arrest process. The arrest will then be part of a permanent criminal history.

For more information, contact acting District Office Commander Gary L. Bennett, Jr. at 570-433-3959.

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