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The Dartmouth
February 25, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

DUI problems at College small by comparison

Students driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs does not seem to be a major problem at Dartmouth compared to some other rural schools, such as Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

At Dartmouth, an average of less than 1 percent have been arrested for driving under the influence during that past four years. Approximately 725 students have cars on campus, and an average of 7.2 students have been arrested in the town of Hanover for DUI from 1995 to 1999.

The past two years have been on the higher end of the spectrum with nine arrests last year and nine also this year as of the end of October. The Hanover Police Department arrested eight students in 1996 and in 1995, and arrested three in 1997.

Although the numbers are low in respect to the College's population and location, Sergeant Rebel Roberts of Safety and Security said the issue should not be overlooked.

"I think that if there's one DUI there's a problem," she said. "If there's some one behind a wheel who has consumed alcohol then that's a problem."

Roberts said that Safety and Security does not have any preventative programs specific to driving-under-the-influence, but the department does do informative crime prevention programs at most residential clusters.

"I think that we deal with everything that comes our way -- we try to deal with everything in a proactive way," she said.

Hamilton College saw an increase in DUIs when its Greek system was revamped several years ago, but Roberts would not comment on what she thinks would happen at Dartmouth with the current possibility of a revised Greek system here.

Dartmouth students this year have made up 45 percent of DUI arrests in Hanover, compared to the 1995-98 average of only 19 percent, according to the Hanover Police. This can be attributed to the remarkably low number of total DUI arrests made so far in 1999.

But this year's percentage may fall closer to the four-year average with the forthcoming holiday season which generally brings a rise in DUI arrests.

New Hampshire law states that a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 percent for drivers of legal age and .03 percent for those under 21 is required for a DUI arrest.