Students seeking late-night social activities crowded neighborhoods close to the Cal Poly campus the weekend before classes started as they searched the streets for back-to-school celebrations.
On Friday and Saturday nights, San Luis Obispo and university police officers issued a combined 44 alcohol citations and 23 traffic-related citations and made 19 arrests, one of which was a DUI.
Over the weekend, officers responded to an estimated 50 reports of excessively loud parties and issued three citations carrying fines of $350 or the approximate value of five Natural Light kegs and 200 disposable red plastic cups.
Despite the financial penalties issued, SLOPD Capt. Dan Blanke said his experiences with this year's group of partygoers was relatively positive.
"I had students coming up to me and initiating friendly conversation," he said. "An officer would write a ticket and the student would apologize and say thanks."
Blanke said that additional enforcement was used in an attempt to help new students become more familiar with SLO's boozing policies
"A lot of areas where students come from may not have municipal ordinances where you can't walk down the street with a beer," Blanke said. "It's our feeling that we need get the ground rules established early on. We want to make sure people know what the rules are in San Luis."
According to Blanke, the department's main reasoning for patrolling parties is to help avoid future problems.
"In this community, a lot of the stuff we see like fights, vandalism, and sexual assaults have their roots in the over consumption of alcohol," he said.
Blanke said that both the SLO and University police departments plan on sending out additional officers to patrol areas near campus for the next several weeks.