(Gluckstadt) Law Enforcement agents with the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control
were busy weekends this past football season. Since October, 2005 ABC agents made
214 arrests in the college towns of Starkville, Oxford, and Hattiesburg. The majority of
these arrests were minors found to be in possession of alcoholic beverages at local
nightspots. In addition, 18 adults were arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors. The use
of fake identification by the minors was present in over 20% of these arrests.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control received grant money from the Division of Public
Safety Planning to enforce underage drinking laws in college towns with emphasis on
enforcement during football game weekends. Underage consumption of alcohol
increases at college towns during home football games when attendance can easily
double a city's population.
“Underage consumption is a serious public safety issue” stated Mark Hicks, chief of
Enforcement for the ABC. “Having our agents out there on these high traffic weekends
when local law enforcement assets are already spread thin helps to reduce alcohol related
accidents and traffic fatalities.”
The ABC agents will continue enforcement operations in the college towns until the grant
is exhausted. The grant will officially run through October, 2006.