Undercover agents from the Pennsylvania State Police's Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement cited 19 underage drinkers during last weekend's Spring Fling revelry, according to LCE figures released yesterday. That number is about one-tenth of the 180 citations issued in 1996, the first year Penn administrators invited LCE agents to campus for the year's biggest party weekend. And although fewer than 25 citations were issued during last year's Fling, many attributed that drastic reduction to grim weather. "Fling in general went very well," said Director of Police Operations Maureen Rush, who had said before the weekend began that the LCE was not out to "rain on anyone's fun" or "race" to see how many students they could cite. Citing primarily those who were drinking outside of houses from open containers, at least 10 agents showed up all over campus, including Saturday night's block parties on the 3900 block of Sansom Street and on the 3900 block of Pine Street, where a police officer said he warned students to "take their beer inside the house." For those cited, the penalty is either a Saturday spent in a class learning the dangers of underage drinking or a fine of up to $300 -- in addition to spending much of the summer unable to drive. Whether students choose to pay the fine or take the class, they lose their driver's license for 90 days. "[Losing the license] is the major penalty for underage drinking, at least in my opinion," LCE Supervisor Gary Kardisco said. Students can also contest the citation in court, but according to Kardisco, most choose to take the class because the citation is expunged from one's record afterward. All of the drinkers cited were over 18 years old, Kardisco said. Additionally, he said that while they were primarily University students, he did not have exact figures on the breakdown of citations.Comments powered by Disqus
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