It’s a fact of life in a college town — students get arrested for public intoxication. The Oxford Police Department says it happens more than 10 times per week on average.
Officer Matt Samuels has made some of those arrests and says some people are charged simply to help keep them safe.
“One of the big things we look at is, you know, are they capable of making decisions on their own and you know, can they actually get to their house or you know, make it to a cab or call a ride or something. Some can’t even operate a phone, so that’s one of the things we look at,” Samuels said.
Bartenders try to do their part when it comes to serving customers, and they try to be alert to those who are intoxicated. Cara Jerozal, a bartender at Bacchus restaurant, says it’s not an exact science.
“I would say it depends on a case by case basis. Some people can drink more than others obviously, depending on size, and if they’ve eaten or not, and I would just watch to make sure they’re not like passing out at the bar or showing signs that they’re way too drunk,” Jerozal said.
Thomas Webb, a student charged with public intoxication, says he didn’t expect to face arrest after interacting with a horse.
“Having a good time with my friends, walking home… these two horse cops walk down the alley way and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love horses.’ I have horses so naturally I wanted to pet the horse. So I walked up, petted the horse on the rear and then I got the cuffs, off to jail I went,” Webb said.
Webb is fighting the charge, which is a common one. OPD reports they make an average of 43 public intoxication arrests a month.
However, police say people can avoid risking arrest quite easily. They recommend that you drink responsibly, always have a designated driver on hand and if need be, call the station and they can take you home.
Story contributed by Jules Marcantonio.