The University ranks second in the nation among four-year colleges with the most liquor arrests in 1999, according to statistics released this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Paul Wong
Michigan Gov. John Engler delivers his 11th annual State of the State address last night as Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus looks on at the state Capitol in Lansing.<br><br>DAVID KATZ/Daily

There were 673 liquor arrests on campus in 1999, placing the University second behind only Michigan State University, which led the nation with 856 liquor arrests. Western Michigan University was third, with 623.

The liquor arrest statistics were included in the first-ever report on college crime released by the Department of Education in January. Once the statistics were compiled, they were analyzed and published in this week”s Chronicle.

There are several factors influencing the University of Michigan”s high rate of liquor violations, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown, and the high number of liquor violations is not unusual because alcohol is the most common drug of choice for college students.

“It is noteworthy to look at the fact that only 35 percent of the individuals arrested for liquor violations were University students,” she said. “The other 65 percent were visitors to the campus or non-University students.”

About a third of the liquor violations occurred at or near Michigan Stadium on football game days, Brown said.

“Another factor relating to our liquor violations is the fact that we have an open campus,” she said. “We do have a lot of additional traffic that contributes to our statistics from the Department of Education.”

Brown said a 1998 change to a state law has taken away some of the discretion police officers have when arresting or issuing citations to intoxicated minors. “If you look at the statistics, the top three schools in the liquor violation category are three Michigan schools,” Brown said. “The new state law makes it mandatory for law enforcement officers to cite or arrest an underage intoxicated person.”

Brown noted that the information does not account for students arrested by the Ann Arbor Police Department or on other college campuses.

Under the Clery Act, which took effect last June, colleges and universities across the country are required to give the Department of Education the statistics on crimes that occurred on their campuses and in surrounding areas each year.

Murder, sex offenses, hate crimes, robbery, arson and drug and weapon violations are all major categories included in the statistics. Michigan State also had the highest reported number of weapons arrests in the nation, with 32.

The national percentage of reported sex offenses rose by nearly 6 percent from 1998 to 1999. The number of burglaries, hate crimes and motor-vehicle thefts also grew. During the same time period, the number of murders dropped from 24 to 11.

The crime statistics of each individual campus can be viewed in full at ope.ed.gov/security.

This year marked the first time schools had to report their crime statistics on a national level. Colleges have been very cooperative with the new legislation, said Department of Education spokeswoman Stephanie Babyak. “We”ve had 100 percent compliance,” she said.

The statistics analyzed by the Chronicle only include on-campus crimes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.