College: for newcomers it’s a no-chores, no-parents and no-school-bells Willy Wonka paradise, where class attendance is optional and booze flows freely. To many freshmen, “no cops” also seems to be on their long list of new found freedoms, as evident by the over seventy Minor in Possession (MIP) charges the CU Police Department has reported in past two weekends alone. Ask any one of those seventy new MIP-owners, and they will most likely tell you that it is nothing to laugh at. Get one, and you’ll be sitting in a mandatory alcohol education class with a hefty fine, all the while telling your parents you spent that fine money on “textbooks.”
To the Class of 2016, here’s some advice from the people who really know how to avoid those pesky little tickets: your friendly neighborhood upperclassmen.
TRASH YOUR RED CUP
Boulder has strict open container laws, and if an officer suspects you’re drinking underage, a red cup is a red flag.
“Always be ready to throw or set down your cup,” James Baker, a 26-year-old chemical engineering major said. “Never have an open container. As long as you’re inside the house, the cops won’t bug you too much.”
While most girls have heard the old adage, it may be new to some male freshmen: never set your cup down and pick it back up later. There are cases of people getting drugged at parties after they drink from a cup they might have abandoned earlier – so just get a new cup.
USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM WISELY
Though the use of the buddy system was probably drilled into everyone’s heads at orientation, some upperclassmen hold some grudges against the device. Sophomore business major John Hablak called the buddy system “a risky topic.”
“I’ve seen just as many people get their friends out of MIPs as people that have gotten their friends MIPs,” Hablack said. “The only real tip I can give is that walking one-on-one with the opposite sex seems to make officers look the other way.”
Basically, use the buddy system wisely: buddy up in small groups of smart people. Don’t try to babysit an entire group of people way over their limits – if spotted by the police, they may dole out group MIPs, no questions asked.
KEEP COPS AT ARM’S LENGTH
If the cops do show up at the party (and it will happen eventually), stay calm.
“If the cops show up, don’t freak out and book it out the back door,” Meghan Damour, 20-year-old linguistics and Spanish major, said. “Either calmly set down your drink and exit if they ask you to, or make your way quietly, but not sneakily, out another exit. Just be chill about it.”
Not all students agree on how to deal with the police in direct questioning, however. While some students believe it’s best to deny, deny, deny, other students suggest sticking with the truth.
“Don’t make the job for the officer too easy, but don’t lie either,” Baker said. “Bide your time and be polite. Know your rights and act accordingly.”
“Be calm, respectful, and cooperative,” Damour said. “Don’t act like you’re doing anything wrong and don’t run.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sarah Elsea at Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org.