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Indiana State Excise Police Target College Campuses

Kilroy's Sports Bar

Photo: Gretchen Frazee/WFIU News

The excise police will pay special attention to bars near college campuses.

The Intensive College Enforcement, or ICE, program is being enforced in three college communities in the state — near Indiana University in Bloomington, Ball State in Muncie, and DePauw in Greencastle.

Indiana State Excise Police Public Information Officer Travis Thickstun says the agency is not just looking to hand out more tickets. They want to change students’ behaviors.

“If we can see a reduction in the number of college students who are reporting using alcohol within the last month at any particular give time down the road, I think the program is going to be successful,” Thickstun says.

Two weeks into the program, the state excise police have handed out 237 tickets, including more than 80 for illegal consumption or possession of alcohol. That’s almost triple the 25-30 tickets the agency normally gives in a week.

Rosie King coordinates a statewide survey of college students for the Indiana Prevention Resource Center. She says law enforcement is only part of the solution.

“Price has been shown to impact use as well as there are things in the family that contribute, family management practices,” King says. “The availability of alcohol is very tied to the levels of use.”

Nearly 2/3 of underage college students who took part in the Resource Center’s statewide survey last year said they had drunk alcohol within the last month. The pilot program will run through this spring and could pick up again in the fall if police think it is having a positive effect.

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