South Bend police have been conducting raids of drinking parties and arresting underage drinkers and taking them to jail, which has many in the Notre Dame community wondering if police are being unfair:
The discussions have been productive, but questions remain about whether police are being tougher on students than in the past and taking them to jail rather than giving them written citations.
During a meeting Wednesday of the city's Community/Campus Advisory Coalition, several people questioned whether police have changed their approach to underage drinking without notifying the community.
But a point buried in the story suggests that people are complaining about a distinction that doesn't really matter in the long run:
An underage drinking ticket or an arrest carry the same weight legally, and can cause problems later for those convicted, Dvorak said. "This isn't an infraction like a speeding ticket," he said. "There are all kinds of (job and graduate school) doors that close on students who have a conviction on minor consuming."
As long as the consequences are the same -- i.e. a blot on their "permanent record" -- why not put the underage drinkers in jail for a night to reinforce the point that actions have consequences? A Notre Dame official is quoted as saying the university realizes there is a "responsbility to help students learn to be good citizens in the community." Whining about a law being enforced that you know you're breaking is not a good starting p