Police expect uptick in alcohol-related incidents as students pour in to Ann Arbor
The annual arrival of students always means one thing to local law enforcement agencies: more parties to break up, more minor in possession tickets to write and more alcohol-related medical transports.
As of Friday afternoon, the Ann Arbor Police Department and the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety said there haven’t been any major incidents, but there has been an uptick in drinking incidents.
On Monday, U-M police reported one operating while intoxicated ticket, but no MIP arrests or ambulance transports. Tuesday was the same, with just one OWI. On Wednesday, however, as more students streamed into Ann Arbor, there was one alcohol-related ambulance request and two minor in possession tickets. The incidents kept rising on Thursday, when five MIP tickets were issued and there were five ambulance requests.
“It will be heightened activity for two or three weeks,” said Diane Brown, spokeswoman for U-M police, adding that an uptick of MIPs and emergency alcohol transports is “very typical this time of year.”
Brown pointed out that most student housing is off-campus, in the Ann Arbor Police Department’s jurisdiction.
The AAPD made five MIP and four open intoxicant arrests Thursday, said Lt. Renee Bush who added it was a slow night.
Ann Arbor police do think foot traffic will be up in the coming days, however. Bush said it was possible the number of alcohol-related arrests could spike.
“We’re hoping people will be in compliance,” she said.
Brown said this is the first time away from home for some students think binge drinking is a rite of passage. She added there never seems to be any moderate drinking going on. Students seem to either not drink at all, or they become extremely intoxicated, she said. For the past three years, U-M has made incoming freshman take an online seminar that educates them on behavior relating to alcohol and sexual assaults, which Brown said often go hand in hand on the campus.
In addition to raising awareness, U-M police are putting more feet on the ground in the coming days.
“We usually have additional officers to have increased visibility,” Brown said.
AnnArbor.com staff reporter Kyle Feldscher contributed to this report.