Three University of Wisconsin-Madison students are being slapped with a $28,000 fine apiece – for a house party that they threw last month that resulted in 130 citations.
Travis W. Ludy, 21, Mitchell J. Klatt, 20, and Kevin J. Tracy, 20, were each cited with one count of dispensing alcohol without a permit, 21 counts of procuring alcohol for an underage person and 21 counts of adult encouraging underage alcohol consumption. The students also could face discipline from the university.
Authorities in Madison said they've been trying to crack down on large house parties because they worry uncontrolled revelry could lead to sexual assaults, batteries, thefts and damaged property, as well as alcohol poisoning.
Here are 5 huge mistakes that these kids made:
1. The officers who broke up the party said that they were more worried about students' safety than distributing tickets and fines. But instead of just cooperating with the officers, the hosts locked the door of the house, turned off the music, and attempted to quiet more than 200 guests in the hopes that the 5-0 would just go away. Who's genius plan was that?
2. These students got nervous and it totally screwed them over. When police finally gained entry to the house, they asked the hosts to identify themselves…they didn't. So the cops started counting underage students until someone stepped up to cooperate.
3. The gracious hosts also kicked out a few hundred kids not long before the cops showed up. You should know better than to do that. Party-goers do not want to leave the party. They will just hang out on your lawn until they find a way back in. Also, you should take people's cups as they leave. It's pretty obvious what's going on when the police see a crowd of messy college students holding red Dixie cups.
4. Any college student throwing a party should know this basic, yet wholly important line: "Officer, it was just supposed to be a few people but I guess word got around. PLEASE help me get all of these people out of my house." Then, instead of being the perpetrator, you're the victim. It changes the whole dynamic of the situation.
5. Make sure you have a sign that says "21 to drink, 18 to party." I know it sounds stupid but I've witnessed it work. You stamp the of-age students differently from the underage ones, and then at least you made an attempt to prevent the underage kids from getting a hold of drinks. Officers of the law seem to take it easier on students who at least try to be responsible for their peers.
I should also say that the title of this article is deceiving, as the 86 grand is the maximum they could be fined, and knowing how the system usually works in favor of students in college towns, I'd say that they'll probably get off with just a couple thousand each…but as for academic punishment, that could potentially be much worse.