Aug 222002
Authors: Erica Mirehouse

The liquor stores are stocked, everyone is back in town, Fort Collins has come alive again and police are aware.

The weekend before school starts is the perfect time for students to party before they have to hit the books.

However, it is important to remember the police are on patrol and ready for the weekend.

At the onset of every school year there is an increase in parties and the department receives many complaints, said Rita Davis, spokesperson for Fort Collins Police Services.

“We receive a lot of noise complaints and complaints about alcohol consumption,” Davis said.

According to Capt. Bob Chaffee, public information officer for the CSU Police Department, CSUPD will only be increasing their patrol as they are hired to do so because of their small staff.

“We will be present at the Ramfest and during the CU vs. CSU ticket sales,” Chaffee said.

Area liquor stores, which experience a 30 percent increase in sales this weekend alone, are also prepared for the weekend. Stores such as Creekside Liquors and Campus West Liquors said they would be stocking much more alcohol.

Liquor store owners stress they will have zero tolerance when it comes to fake ID’s and want to remind students they will not sell to anyone who is intoxicated.

The police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers and will be responding to complaints throughout town this weekend.

Davis recommends that students who are going to host a party should try to host it responsibly.

Her tips for a responsible party include: don’t overserve guests, keep noise level to a minimum and be respectful of neighbors. However, her biggest concern was to not let anyone drive drunk.

Kate Cheesbrough, a junior technical journalism major, learned this lesson the hard way.

“The weekend before school started my freshman year was so much fun until the Saturday night when I looked up to see sirens behind me,” she said.

Cheesbrough left a party to return to the residence halls but did not make it very far.

“I wasn’t sure which direction to go,” she said. “The next thing I knew I was taking sobriety tests on the side of the road, being handcuffed and discovering what the backseat of a police car is like.”

Cheesbrough was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and she soon learned being charged was only the beginning.

She then began a long period of meetings with a probation officer, hours of community service, alcohol classes and life without a driver’s license.

“My parents’ insurance company dropped my health insurance coverage,” Cheesbrough said. “I am now also considered high-risk, so I have to pay double of what I was paying before.”

It has now been two years since Cheesbrough received her DUI and she just got her driver’s license back. She said she definitely won’t be driving after partying this weekend.

“I think I learned my lesson the first time,” Cheesbrough said.

In any situation involving the police, cooperation is key, Davis said.

“Please cooperate with the police and they will cooperate with you,” she said.

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