A little beer pong at a party isn't an unusual sight for LSU students– but what is unusual is the amount of officers out in Tigerland recently giving out citations for underage drinking.
"Since I'm underage I obviously wouldn't drink outside at Tigerland, because I do realize that there are more cops, nowadays," LSU second-year student, Daniel Bae said.
Lieutenant Christopher Webb, with BRPD says that on busy nights such as the popular “Boy’s Bid Night” or gamedays, the force pairs with other agencies like ATC to send out anywhere between 15 and 20 officers to patrol in Tigerland, as opposed to the typical two or three.
By day, Tigerland is a ghost town, but by night LSU students flood to the area for drinking and socializing– even if they’re under the legal drinking age.
“I was at a tailgate with my fraternity, and a cop just walked up and said ‘Hey, let me see your ID’. The second one happened the exact same way, and then the third one I was in Tigerland and I was getting out of a car, and I happened to have alcohol in the car, even though it wasn’t open or anything, and then I got one that way,” Rutledge said.
Lieutenant Webb says that for the police department, this isn’t about giving people a hard time– it’s about safety.
“I mean, It’s just like any other proactive responsibility of the police department, we’re out there for a specific reason, just like traffic officers would write speeding tickets, we’re out there to look for underage drinkers,” Webb said.
Before midnight on September 3, also known as "Boys Bid Night", ATC issued violations and summons to four bars in Tigerland, including Reggie’s Bar, The House in Tigerland, Fred’s Bar and Grill and Mike’s in Tigerland.
These violations may be more common in an area like Tigerland because the minimum age for entry can be as low as eighteen there, so it is easier for minors to get access to drinks from the bar, but some students say they feel like ATC has ulterior motives when they go undercover.
“Some nights of the week they would have like, no undercover cars or not be in Tigerland whatsoever, and then sometimes they’ll have like five cars parked in all of the different parking lots in Tigerland and just be ready to jump out at whatever kid walks by,” Rutledge said.
BRPD emphasizes that they’re not out to target students with these citations, only to issue them when they observe the law being broken.