Drinking citations increase in past week

Elizabeth Cook

In the past week the number of party complaints has doubled, and there was an increase of underage drinking citations.

According to reports, one of these incidents was at approximately 1:40 a.m. Sunday in Pioneer Hall.

Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University Police Department, said security monitors responded to a noise complaint. The monitors observed that the students had been drinking. The students refused to provide their information, so police were called.

According to reports, when officers arrived, the students blew in to a preliminary breath tester. One student was unable to properly blow into the device, and was then taken to detox on the account of not being able to care of himself, police said.

All the suspects were issued citations for consumption as a minor.

In another incident, at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday, police observed a man lose his balance and almost fall over outside the Sports Pavilion on University Avenue Southeast.

The officer then stopped to check the welfare of the man who said he had drank “way too much” alcohol.

He was then cited for consumption as a minor and given a restorative justice form.

A restorative justice form is included with all consumption by a minor cases and open public drinking citations given by University police. In the program, violators are given the option to erase the misdemeanor from their record by attending a community conference, among other options, Johnson said.

Careless driving

At approximately 2:50 a.m. Monday, an officer observed a green vehicle swerving and accelerating toward the intersection of 18th Avenue Southeast and University Avenue Southeast, according to reports.

When the driver of the vehicle saw the officer, he immediately stopped, even though the light was still green.

The light then turned yellow and the car waited until it turned green again to go, police said.

When the light changed, the officer turned on his lights and began pulling over the suspect. A red car drove up behind and around the officer’s car, blocking the officer from the green vehicle.

The officer then withdrew enough to pull both vehicles over. While the driver of the red car pulled over, the other driver continued down the road.

Officers pulled over the green vehicle and could smell alcohol on the driver. The driver was found to have been drinking and was younger than 21; the vehicle was towed.

In the red car, the driver, who was 21, said he had two beers earlier. He was given a field sobriety test, passed and was issued a careless driving ticket.

The passenger of the red vehicle, who was also the owner, became outraged with police and began yelling profanities at them.

He accused officers of ruining his life and blamed his friend, the driver, for the whole incident. The passenger was then put in handcuffs.

When a tow truck arrived to take the red vehicle, the passenger began struggling with an officer and kneed him in the groin area.

The assisting officer then threatened him with a Taser if he resisted any further.

The passenger was then booked at the Hennepin County Jail on charges of obstructing the legal process and consumption as a minor.