Students cited for DUIs
St. Michael's students pulled over after car hops curb
Kaitlyn Coakley | staff writer
During the weekend of Oct. 19-21, two St. Michael’s College students were arrested on campus on charges of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Returning to campus
On Oct. 20, St. Michael's junior Zachary Smith, 21, along with a 20-year-old unidentified passenger, was seen by a St. Michael’s security officer driving over the curb in the quad, according to Lt. Doug Allen of the Colchester Police Department.
Colchester police and St. Michael’s Security cruisers parked outside the quad during the post World Series celebrations.
Larry Frisoli, photo
Smith, who declined to comment on record in conjunction with the use of his name, was arrested on the charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence, while his passenger was cited for underage drinking, Allen says. When the lieutenant was called to the scene at 1 a.m. Smith was arrested and taken into custody, he added.
Legal repercussions placed on charges of driving under the influnce (DUI) can include, but are not limited to, an automatic 90-day license suspension, fines, and an insurance increase up to three times what a person would normally pay, Allen says. The person also has to appear in court and can be ordered to take an alcohol class, both of which have additional fees.
Jail time can also be involved, but more often than not, probation is issued instead, Allen says.
The college's response
Over the past 7-8 years, St. Michael’s has averaged 3-5 DUI offenses per year, according to Peter Soons, director of St. Michael's Security.
The weekend of Oct. 19-21, there were three DUI charges on campus, two of which were St. Michael’s students. Aside from the local police action, the college administration has its own repercussions for the students.
“The student meets with their associate or assistant director of residence life to go through the campus judicial system," says Brian Lee, associate director of Residence Life. "They are usually placed on disciplinary probation and issued fines, and frequently evicted for specified weekends.”
“Obviously, the safety of all members of our community is put at risk when a student drives while intoxicated,” he says.
“It’s just a bad choice,” Soons says. “You can probably expect to see the Student Association working on a campaign to raise the level of awareness on drunk driving.”
St. Michael’s Security is based out of the newest building on campus, the Robert E. Sutton Fire & Rescue Station.
Larry Frisoli, photo
Behind the wheel
St. Michael’s students are reluctant to agree that drunk driving is a big problem on campus.
“I don’t really hear about it,” junior Evan Curry says. “I mean, it will happen once in a while when we miss our shuttle or something.”
Sophomore Ashley Morris says drinking and driving is a problem among students on campus.
“I think a huge contributor to the problem is that the shuttle doesn’t run as late on Thursday nights as it does on Friday and Saturday nights,” she says.
Morris and Curry live on North Campus and take the shuttle down to Main Campus on the weekend nights with other North Campus residents. The last scheduled shuttle to North Campus departs from Bergeron on Thursdays at 11:45 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays at 2:15 a.m.
“You can walk, but I’ve seen more kids not willing to do so as it gets colder,” sophomore Erin Jones says. “Which in turn is going to put more and more students behind the wheel after drinking.”