Despite official statistics suggesting 2016 was a banner year for alcohol abuse during the first weeks of the UC Berkeley school year, anecdotes from first responders and student leaders suggest otherwise.
In early September, the state bureau of Alcohol and Beverage Control released figures for the first two weekends of the school year that indicated alcohol-related incidents spiked 110% this year, compared with 2004 when the ABC bureau first started collecting data. And this year’s total of 551 incidents is up 30% from 2015.
The stats are based on a collaboration between the Berkeley Police Department, ABC and other law-enforcement agencies that is funded through a grant. The annual effort began in 2004.
Unlike previous years, where new records appear in certain citation categories such as ‘open container violations’ or ‘minors in possession of alcohol,’ 2016 set records across the board. For example, in 2016 law enforcement handed out 36 citations for ‘furnishing alcohol to minors,’ beating the 2006 record of 32.
The UC Police reported a slight uptick in hospital transports to 15, from 11 in August. But September, at least through Sept. 21, declined to 16 from 19 in 2015, according to Sergeant Sabrina Reich.
The Berkeley Police Department acknowledged that the increase was likely due to the number of officers involved. … Continue reading »