MUPD reports significant drop in liquor law arrests

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COLUMBIA - October marks the annual Alcohol Responsibility Month at the University of Missouri and it comes as MUPD says the number of liquor law arrests has decreased drastically.

Kim Dude, the associate director of Student Life said, “There are a couple of reasons why that number might go down. One reason is that our students are making better choices – the high risk drinking rate has gone down 25 percent the last five years. But part of it is also that the police don’t have enough funding to have police officers on the streets to actually make those arrests.”

In 2013, the MU Police Department had 444 liquor law arrests, but last year that number had dropped to 193. The police said the number of arrests is a result of fewer police officers on the streets.

“Currently we are in the process of increasing the number of police officers from 41 right now to 50. We are doing hiring and training at the moment,” Lt. Kevin Rodgers said.

Alcohol Responsibility Month was started Wednesday with a fair at Lowry Mall, where students got free items and advice about MU’s alcohol initiatives. They include the “Stripes” car service that takes students safely home from a night out.

Rodgers said, ”A lot of effort is put into this from both us and the University of Missouri. The number of arrests really depend on the students’ behavior, and I think initiatives like the Stripes car service helps people be more responsible going to and from the establishment.”

Dude said it is important to educate students to make the best choices possible.

“The choices students make on alcohol are going to have an absolute impact on their success as a student and as an adult," she said.