Statesboro police crack down on underage drinking - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Statesboro police crack down on underage drinking


The college bar scene in Statesboro has changed since GSU freshman, Michael Gatto, died after a fight in a bar last year.

Since then, Rude Rudy’s has closed and several smaller bars around the area have closed their doors. Statesboro police continue to take steps to make sure all patrons stay safe.

The department posted on their Facebook page that they are looking for 18 to 20-year-olds who have a valid driver’s license that would be interested in helping with their alcohol compliance
operation. Basically, they want to make sure bars are not serving to those underage. The issue was highlighted last year with the death of Michael Gatto.

"It seems like the bars have been cracking down. They definitely check for I.D's more and there is definitely less underage drinking," said Michael Leanhart, a junior at GSU. "A lot of people come here for the fact that it use to be easy to party here."

It is not easy anymore. The mayor, the council, and police have all made it a top priority to make sure everyone that is drinking is over 21.

 "I can get into places but I definitely am carded a lot. I have to wear a wristband," said Allie Rector, a student who is under 21 years of age.

“We use citizens that are actually underage using their actual ID.  The citizen enters an establishment and attempts to purchase alcohol.  We specifically instruct the citizen not to beg, bargain, or manipulate the situation in any way.  If the employee refuses to make the sale the citizen leaves the business immediately and returns to their law enforcement escort.  If the employee does sell alcohol to the citizen, the citizen then discreetly discards the alcohol and returns to their law enforcement escort outside the establishment.  In the event of a sale, the citizen is specifically instructed not to drink or pretend to drink the beverage,” said Cpl. Justin Samples with SPD.

"I would not say it’s good or bad, it’s just how they choose to do it," said Rector.

However, at this point in time no more help is needed.

“Due to an overwhelming response, we have received more help than we can actually use at this time and are no longer in need of assistance. We will post requests for assistance in the future on an as-needed basis. Thanks to all that responded,” said the Statesboro Police Department.

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