Seven college students, including five Georgetown students, were arrested for underage drinking and using fake identification at Rhino Bar and Pumphouse on M Street Saturday, according to Erin Mathieson, an investigator for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

Mathieson said representatives of ABRA’s D.C.: Double Check 101 program work closely with the Metropolitan Police Department to identify underage drinkers in bars and nightclubs surrounding university campuses in the District.

She added that ABRA apprehended two underage Georgetown students in Towne Wine & Liquors on Wisconsin Avenue for purchasing alcohol with fake IDs last month. Though the students were not arrested, Towne was charged and the students’ names were sent to the university. Penalties for serving underage drinkers range from a fine to a suspension of the establishment’s liquor license.

Mathieson said that while MPD must witness students’ use of fake IDs in order to charge them, they can obtain warrants to request identification from individuals who appear underage. Representatives of ABRA, however, can ask anyone to present identification. If the ID is deemed fake, ABRA will take down the student’s personal information and charge the offending establishment.

“We are primarily interested in documenting everything and charging the establishment, because [serving minors] is an egregious violation,” Mathieson said.

Mathieson added that an offending student’s personal information is forwarded to his university, where he often faces disciplinary sanctions.

According to Mathieson, ABRA targets establishments based on tips from D.C. universities and students.

“Sometimes students will … give us information. [They’ll say,] ‘Hey, you know, my friends go to XYZ bar. I know someone who goes here all the time.’ They’ll give us that information that way. That’s how we monitor specific locations,” Mathieson said.

A representative of ABRA will be stationed in Red Square Friday afternoon to answer questions about underage drinking, drinking laws and the role of ABRA as part of the administration’s efforts to educate students about underage drinking.

Mathieson said ABRA and area universities hope that the information provided by the program will enhance safety and alleviate concerns associated with underage alcohol consumption in addition to reducing the use of fake IDs.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *