‘16 identified, arrested for underage drinking

by MICHAEL RIORDAN | 7/1/13 10:00pm

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by Marina Shkuratov and Marina Shkuratov / The Dartmouth

The student was subsequently charged with three counts of misdemeanors, including misrepresenting his age, providing a false report to law enforcement officials and possessing false identification. The ongoing case has prompted questions about student privacy, particularly with regards to the recent threat posted on Bored at Baker before Commencement.

Employees have access to student information "relevant to the jobs they perform," College spokesperson Justin Anderson said.

"We're looking at the situation that has been reported in the media about the employee who called the police," he said. "We're investigating it and once we've gathered all the facts, we'll address any violations as appropriate."

The student's identifying information is considered public "directory information" and may be released without a student's permission, according to the College's Family Education Rights and Privacy Act tutorial.

Anderson said that the College respects students' rights under state and federal privacy laws and takes their health seriously. Violating students' FERPA rights is grounds for the federal government to cut off funding to a university.

Anderson added that Dartmouth expects employees to "adhere to the highest level of professional ethics."

In an interview with the Valley News, Kett claimed that she acted on her own and that reporting the suspected underage drinking "wasn't part of her job."

According to the Hanover Police report on the case, Kett explained to officers that her position at the College had made her "keenly aware" of underage drinking on campus.

Following Kett's call, an officer arrived at Molly's but found that the student in question had already left. The officer reviewed a copy of the student's check, which showed that the student had ordered four alcoholic beverages with dinner.

The officer passed on this information to a fellow officer, who then attempted to contact the student by visiting his room. The Safety and Security officer knocked at the student's door and identified himself and, hearing no reply, entered to "ensure that the male was not passed out due to his alcohol consumption," according to the report.

Consuming five or more drinks in less than two hours is considered binge drinking for males, according to the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking.

Because the room was empty, the Safety and Security officer said he would "monitor" the student's Dartmouth ID to see if he returned to his dorm.

The Hanover Police officer received a phone call later that evening from a Safety and Security sergeant, who said that two Safety and Security officers had apprehended the student in question in front of Carson Hall. The Hanover Police officer responded to the scene with a fellow officer, where he confirmed that the student ordered alcoholic drinks at Molly's.

According to the report, the student "was slurring his words as he spoke and appeared to get confused with what he was saying." He told the Hanover police officer that he had used his valid state license, which indicated that he was under 21, to order drinks at Molly's.

The Hanover Police officer informed the student that he was under arrest for unlawful possession and intoxication. He then took a picture of the student's driver's license for a potential prohibited sales case against Molly's or the waiter who had served the student.

The student was issued a summons and given information on the Diversion program. He was driven to his room, where he removed a 12-pack of beer and open bottles of champagne, rum and vodka from his and his roommate's rooms. The student stated that the open bottles did not belong to him.

Afterward, Safety and Security officers transported the student to Dick's House for the night.

Later that evening, two nurses at Dick's House overheard the student talking on a cellphone. They claimed they heard the student say that he had hidden his fake ID in his underwear and "was going to be testifying against Molly's for serving him the alcohol," according to the report.

Monitors are in place in most of the rooms at Dick's House, Anderson said.

"The nurses can't be in every room," he said. "They're used to make sure that students are safe and not in distress."

The nurses then informed Safety and Security of the conversation. A sergeant called the police at 3:46 a.m. to report the update. An officer arrived at Dick's House and waited for the student to wake up.

Once awake, the student was taken to an empty room and interrogated. An officer told the student that "he had made several poor decisions up to this point," according to the report.

After multiple requests, the student continued to decline turning in the fake ID. The officer told the student he could present the ID or be seized by the police until a judge reviewed a warrant. The student then handed the officer a fake license and remained at Dick's House for the night, where an officer stayed to ensure that the student did not hurt himself.

George Ostler, a lawyer for the student, and Dick's House director Jack Turco declined to comment. Safety and Security director Harry Kinne could not be reached for comment by press time.