Police in Brookings hope SDSU students will get the message that underage drinking won't be tolerated following a beer bust the weekend before homecoming week
. Police rounded up more three dozen people while breaking up a house party near campus.
Brookings police say it's unusual that the partying begins a full week before Hobo Day. But early Sunday morning, officers ticketed 38 people for underage drinking during a Halloween party. Police say they're ready to write dozens more if the Hobo Week partying gets out of hand.
Brookings Police came a-knocking at a home just blocks from the SDSU campus to break up a loud party, but no one answered.
"Which can happen sometimes when they don't want to come to the door because they know the police have arrived and they don't want to have to face that, so we deal with that as effectively as we can," Brookings Police Chief Jeff Miller said.
In this case, police dealt with it by obtaining a search warrant.
"We woke up a judge and they read over an affidavit to determine whether there's probable cause or not to go into someone's home," Miller said.
Police are promising homecoming week partiers they aren't simply going to leave if no one shows up at the front door. We talked with one resident of the house, who wasn't home at the time of the party, who says the people inside weren't bothering anybody. The student, who didn't want to be on camera, said the partiers were just hanging out in the basement playing foosball, and that police are blowing the incident out of proportion. But police say they don't enjoy tying up officers during the time-consuming effort of breaking up underage house parties.
"We don't like coming to these residences and I'm sure they don't like us coming there," Miller said.
Brookings police hope the beer bust sends a message that echoes across campus about the dangers of underage drinking. Police will have extra officers on duty through this weekend, keeping an eye on the homecoming partying.
"Oftentimes, we run into people who think it's going to be a wide-open party here in Brookings for Hobo Days and they think it's a no-hold barred and sometimes those individuals find out different," Miller said.
Police broke up a second underage party in Brookings that same morning, but they're still adding up the number of tickets in that bust. Each person ticketed over the weekend faces a fine of up to $120.
Brookings police tell us the house partying tends to peak during Hobo Week and then hits a bit of a lull before picking up again in the spring, when the weather warms up.