Underage drinking busts sober up students

A recent drinking bust in the 900 block of North 18th Street resulted in MPD citations for more than 30 students.
A recent drinking bust in the 900 block of North 18th Street resulted in MPD citations for more than 30 students.

Some students may think twice before tapping their next keg for profit following a recent string of underage drinking citations and arrests.

The Milwaukee Police Department carried out an underage drinking bust of a Marquette off-campus party on Halloween. According to the Department of Public Safety, MPD asked for DPS assistance in the bust at 10:29 p.m. MPD said a house in the 900 block of North 18th Street was conducting an illegal tavern operation.

MPD was first tipped off about the house when officers on regular patrol noticed many people loitering outside. More than 30 students were cited for underage drinking. One witness claimed MPD officers ran out of tickets. Students received drinking citations for as much as $300, according to Capt. Russell Shaw, associate director of DPS.

Another witness said people at the party were surprised by the breadth of MPD’s presence.

“The police came out of nowhere,” the witness said. “It was unlike anything I had ever seen.”

The 20-year-old student host of the party is accused of operating a tavern out of his leased house and selling alcohol to underage persons. The fine for the charge could be as much as $3,211, Shaw said.

This was the first major MPD underage drinking bust here since last October. In that bust, 68 citations were issued at two separate locations: residences in the 1400 block of West State Street and the 900 block of 16th Street in Renee Row. The hosts of these parties received class B violations for selling alcohol to minors without a liquor license.

Shaw said he thinks MPD tries to keep a closer look on the area earlier in the year because large parties tend to attract crime.

“People from outside the area will come to campus looking for parties,” Shaw said. “And this puts students at a risk of having crimes committed against them.”

There have been other busts throughout the Milwaukee area and the rest of the state recently.

“Rave-like” party

Last Sunday, MPD busted a “rave-like” party that had 312 juveniles in attendance. The party took place in an abandoned building near the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and North Avenue.

Two security guards at the building were arrested for carrying concealed weapons. The disc jockey at the party was arrested for charges stemming from an unrelated homicide case. Police said the owner of the building can be charged for violations ranging from not having an occupancy permit to not obtaining a dance license.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MPD and UW-Milwaukee Police busted a party in the 2900 block of North Maryland in September. Police reported 150 people were in attendance and many appeared to be under 21. MPD issued citations to offenders and notified university officials of students involved in illegal activities. The bust is a result of a renewed effort by police to work with community members to increase order throughout the area.


The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office busted a party in June that involved more than 200 juveniles. The party was held on a farm in Merton, Wis. Sheriff’s deputies found tents pitched throughout the property and large amounts of beer and hard alcoholic beverages. The sheriff’s office was led to the party after a 911 hang-up call originated there and an underage drunk driver was arrested after leaving the party. At least 60 underage drinking citations were issued.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Police arrested 87 students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater last May after a party was busted at an off-campus house. According to police, six students were operating an illegal tavern and had 81 guests in the house at the time. The residents faced charges such as supplying alcohol to minors, failure to prevent underage drinking and selling alcohol without a license.