The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Downtown Clemson buckles down– students face underage drinking charges

Group of Clemson police stationed outside of the bars in downtown Clemson on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Photo courtesy of Sophia Wilkins

Group of Clemson police stationed outside of the bars in downtown Clemson on Saturday, Nov. 13.

The Clemson University Police Department (CUPD) and the City of Clemson Police Department appear to have enforced the underage drinking laws in downtown Clemson bars more in the fall semester compared to the previous year. 
Underage students at Clemson University who tend to spend their weekends at the bars have been suffering the consequences, with Minor in Possession (MIP) and Fake Identification charges.
“I was standing near the door at Study Hall and the cops just B-lined for me,” said a Clemson sophomore. “They asked to see my ID so I gave them my fake (ID). I was honest with them and told them that it was fake…. I got an MIP charge and a Fake ID charge. It was almost $1,000 once everything added up.”
This student explained how she never had a problem going to the bars downtown last year, and she believes that there is a much greater risk this year.
The question at hand, however, is whether the number of underage drinking charges given out have actually increased this year or not.
“There’s probably been a slight increase from the year before, but that’s more to do with enforcement efforts having been increased,” said CUPD’s Lt. Cortney Wright.“I wouldn’t say necessarily that there’s a greater participation in the student population, so much as efforts of law enforcement and education purposes to locate and stop someone.”
On the other hand, City of Clemson Police Department’s Chief Gorge Campos believes that if there has been an increase, it would be because of COVID-19 restrictions from last year being lifted.
To get the exact number of MIPs given out this year, the City of Clemson Police asked for $400 to fill an individual’s public records request, making it hard to get a definite answer on the increase in underage drinking charges this semester. This $400 charge is permissible by the Freedom of Information laws of South Carolina.
Chief Campos explained that several establishments in downtown Clemson have added new means to identifying underage drinkers. “We are using some new apps to detect them (Fake ID’s). They do more than just scan the information; the apps are actually comparing the information to known databases to verify if that is in fact a person.” 
Many underage students question the purpose of these new efforts, but if they read the Clemson University Security and Fire Safety Report of 2021, they will find their answer. Gregory Mullen, Chief of Police at the Clemson University Police Department, explained that MIP charges are given “to prevent injuries and other life-altering impacts caused by alcohol.”
Even without the documentation of the number of underage drinking charges this year, it is inferred that Clemson Police Departments have in fact buckled down because of efforts to increase safety at Clemson University.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *