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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to survive a busted party

    The party is popping. The raspy voice of Lil Wayne fills the apartment. Partygoers stand mesmerized as a Ping-Pong ball is thrown back and forth, dance the night away and flood the kitchen to down shots like water. Everyone is having a great time, until a loud knock sounds on the door. Someone answers: it’s the cops.

    The news passes over the party like a fog, gradually weaving its way to the back of the apartment until finally, it hits you. As if adrenaline was just thrust into your heart, your survival instincts shock you sober.

    Now I know what you’re thinking: “I’m drunk, I’m underage, I just got to college, my parents are going to kill me.”

    First of all, take a deep breath. Secondly, you’re on the fourth floor, so there’s nowhere to go unless you know parkour. Thirdly, the cops are letting you walk. That’s right: you’re free to go.

    This is the usual result of a party bust, and it is often due to a noise complaint from a next-door neighbor, according to Sergeant Chris Widmer, a public relations officer with the Tucson Police Department.

    “It’s just a matter of resources,” Widmer said. “It would be great if we could check everyone’s ID to see who’s of legal drinking age and who’s not, but if we took the time to do all that, we would be neglecting the 10 million other calls we receive on weekend nights about unruly gatherings.”

    The resident of the house or apartment is not so lucky, however. They are issued a red tag, which is an extremely common practice and has recently been added to the TPD’s “general orders” due to the increase in shootings and DUI’s in recent years, according to Widmer. Officially termed an “unruly gathering order,” red tags are in place for 180 days and come with a minimum $100 fee, as well as a notification that if the resident commits more offenses within the designated time period, they will be fined again.

    It’s now creeping into the early hours of the morning. Your party of choice was just busted, what do you do now?

    There’s are a number of common scenarios. A group of people, perhaps friends, may wish to hop to another party. This sometimes works out, but it’s only really worth it if you have a designated driver or the party is within walking distance as taking a taxi is a pain. By the time you get to the next party, it may have already died down or been busted as well.

    Another option is a late night food venture. These are typically pretty fun, but once again, getting there can be a bit of a hassle. The Taco Shop, Nico’s, and Highland Market tend to be the most popular late night food locations near and on campus, but there is always Subway and Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ located on Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard if you’re looking for something a little more low-key.

    The last and most common post-busted party scenario is simply going home. This is sometimes the best choice, because the less time you spend wandering around Tucson intoxicated the better, especially considering there were over 450 minor in possession charges given out by TPD in 2011.

    One could say that the solution to not getting an MIP is simply not to drink alcohol before you’re 21, but that would almost be like saying if you don’t want an STD, don’t have sex. Being that this is college we are talking about, many of you will undoubtedly ignore such a suggestion.

    No matter what path you end up taking after a late night out, always play it safe if you have been drinking. Don’t drive, don’t get in the car of others who have been drinking, and don’t associate yourself with belligerently drunk people, because you’ll only attract unwanted attention.

    — Max Efrein is a junior studying journalism and history. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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