As one of the most anticipated weekends of a Duhawk’s life, Homecoming is a great time to reconnect with alumni, cheer on Loras athletes and -– of course — party. As Duhawks celebrate this weekend, Lieutenant Scott Baxter of the Dubuque Police Department weighed in on ways to stay safe and avoid incarceration.
Moderation, obeying the law and having a basic respect for surrounding property and persons are the keys to avoiding unwanted attention from law enforcement.
“A party that starts at 9 a.m. is not conducive to moderation and ‘pacing’ – and is likely to draw our attention unless carefully and legally managed,” Lt. Baxter said. Homecoming is a large safety concern and requires the police to be on high-alert.
Underage individuals consuming alcohol are a special concern for law enforcement. The legal drinking age in Iowa is 21. A “Possession of Alcohol Under the Legal Age” citation carries a $330 fine, and police may detain excessively intoxicated individuals in jail overnight. Resisting official acts, such as using a fake ID or resisting officers, may also result in jail time. Those of legal drinking age should be warned that hosts of parties involving underage drinking will face fines over $800.
“The misconception that we’re ‘okay’ with the parties because there are too many to arrest is flawed thinking and inaccurate. If there is a problem, we will deal with it to the best of our ability, and that will likely mean citation and/or arrest,” said Lt. Baxter.
Whether or not alcohol is involved in Homecoming weekend plans, it is important to remember that Loras is part of a larger community and situated among several neighborhoods. Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated, and police officers will respond to all sightings or reports of public intoxication/consumption, public urination, theft or damage, disorderly conduct, and disobeying police orders. Lt. Baxter noted that the punishment for these types of violations result in jail “virtually every time.”
As Homecoming festivities kick off, police presence will increase on and around campus and targeted community areas. The police encourage students to have fun but maintain common sense and respect. Police-student relations are a vital part of keeping the campus community safe. Homecoming weekend is a great opportunity for students to show how much they appreciate everything that officers do to keep them safe.