Day drinking results in more over-intoxication this year
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Between move-in weekend at the university and the beginning of October, university police have had four incidents of daytime intoxication and all four people were hospitalized, university police Chief Patrick Ogden says. Of the 115 individual incidents of daytime drinking from Oct. 1, 2007 to Oct. 1, 2012, 11 students were transported to the hospital and four of the hospitalization cases occurred during the current school year, Ogden says.
The four incidents this school year involved two students and two non-students, all who were transported to the hospital and successively dealt with through either Student Conduct or the judicial system.
“That’s kind of an alarming number to me,” he says. “You have 115 incidents over a five year period, and only 11 out of 115 were so intoxicated we had to take them to the hospital, whereas this year we’ve only had four incidents, but all four of them had to go to the hospital. We’re at 100 percent so far this year.”
Sophomore Gregory Francavilla says many students choose day drinking or “daging”—raging during the day—as an alternative to other campus social activities and nightlife.
“It’s a nice time to meet people in the daylight,” he says. “You can actually talk to people and see their faces.”
Sophomore Phillip Loureiro says he prefers day drinking because he likes to be outside.
“Day drinks allow for more people because they are often held in backyards, avoiding stuffy, hot basements,” he says. “If the weather’s nice day drinks are much more fun than nighttime parties.”
Loureiro also says he finds day drinks to be safer than parties held late at night because the alcohol consumption is evenly distributed across a few hours, rather than top-loaded at the beginning of the night.
Demand for alcohol outweighs the supply during a day drink so there are often not enough drinks to allow over-drinking, he says.
“There are more people to drink the alcohol supplied, so the amount consumed per person is less,” he says. “Most people drink less at day drinks and do not over-drink as much or at all.”
Ogden says day drinking and its potential for uninterrupted alcohol consumption from morning until night is a concern.
Ogden says it is not the time of day but the quantity of alcohol consumed over such a lengthy duration, that concerns him.
“The concern with day-drinking is if you start drinking at 11:30 in the morning, no one knows what time you’re going to stop,” he says. “The majority of kids we run into that are involved in day drinking are starting early and basically drinking until they pass out.”
Ogden says this drinking stamina contrasts that of college nightlife, which doesn’t usually begin until around 11 p.m. and doesn’t continue long after 2 a.m.
Junior Kyle Ottenheimer, however, says for many students who enjoy day drinks, it does not develop into an all-day and all-night affair.
Ottenheimer says while day drinks are a fun way to spend the afternoon, most students are ready to crash by the evening.
“It’s slightly difficult to go out drinking at night after drinking all day,” he says. “So when nighttime comes around it’s bedtime for sure.”
Ogden says that the students who avoid run-ins with law enforcement are the students who can consume alcohol responsibly- still maintaining appropriate behavior.
“When they’re on campus they’re not staggering down the street, they’re not being disorderly, they’re not urinating in public, they’re not throwing trash on the ground,” he says. “They’re not drawing attention to themselves so they’re not being dealt with.”
Ogden says there has not been a new burst in day drinking activity, but a shift in location.
Ogden says though this year not as many students are tailgating outside of the ice arena before football games and then heading back to campus, he does not believe the issue of disorderly day drinking has been entirely resolved.
The behavior has not been eliminated, but moved into private residences off campus, Ogden says.
“We did the right thing in clamping down a little bit on what was going on at the ice arena,” he says. “But I feel like all we did was push the problem off-campus and into the neighborhoods and we’re not necessarily being good neighbors when we’re doing that.”
In addition to concerns of student safety, Ogden says day drinking at houses in the Newark community pose an issue for residents not affiliated with the university. He says the residents of Newark are relatively lenient when it comes to rowdy partying in the evenings, but that the all day partying of day drinking pushes the envelope with what residents will tolerate.
“It’s almost like they can put up with it when it’s from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.,” he says, “But when it happens at 11 a.m. and goes until 2 a.m. It really frustrates the area residents.”
Newark police spokesman MCpl. Gerald Bryda says complaints from residents and neighbors are the bulk of what brings Newark police out to day drinks.
“We generally get called to these locations as a result of a noise violation complaint or a complaint of people acting disorderly and disturbing the peace,” Bryda says.
While Loureiro says he understands university police and Newark police do their job the best they can, he feels they have a tendency to overreact at times.
“When they break up day-drinks early in the day it’s a bit unnecessary,” he says. “For the most part it’s just college kids having fun and they’re not hurting anyone. With the amount of crime in Newark there are better things for the police to do than bother college kids.”
While Ogden says a majority of the calls for service are on city streets and go to the Newark Police Department, he says it is not unusual for him to also receive calls from Newark area residents complaining about student’s behavior—anything from excessive noise to students using their bushes as a toilet.
He says a responsible drinker should have no problem socially consuming alcohol, regardless of the time of day—it is the student who is going to continue to drink for several hours straight that poses as a threat to his or her own safety.