UCPD responds to 8 cases of alcohol-related illness Monday morning

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UCPD responded to eight cases of alcohol-related illness between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday.

Of the nine alcohol-related illnesses UCPD responded to over the course of this year’s residence hall move-in weekend, eight cases resulted in an underage individual being transported to the hospital.

Alcohol-related illness occurs when someone becomes ill or unresponsive due to alcohol intoxication or a combination of alcohol and drug use.

“I’ve never seen eight in one night,” said UCPD Lt. Eric Tejada of the Monday cases. “We get one to three on a weekend, usually, at least in the first few weeks. To see eight in one night is pretty troubling.”

According to UCPD Lt. Marc DeCoulode, at least six of the eight cases Monday took place in residence halls, including Clark Kerr Campus, Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3.

The case that did not result in the hospitalization of someone underage involved a person of legal drinking age who became combative with paramedics while being treated for alcohol-related illness. According to Tejada, the individual subsequently was arrested and taken to jail.

The last several years have seen an uptick in alcohol-related illness during and after residence hall move-in weekend. In 2010, UCPD responded to seven alcohol-related illness calls between move-in weekend and Labor Day. During the same time period in the following year, the number of calls doubled. In 2012, UCPD responded to five reports of alcohol-related illness during move-in weekend alone, Tejada said.

UC policy prohibits student drinking that impairs “work performance, scholarly activities, or student life.” Yet incidents such as these are “pretty common,” according to Marty Takimoto, spokesperson for the campus’s Residential and Student Service Programs.

“You have a group of 16- to 18-year-olds living without their parents’ supervision for the first time,” Takimoto said. “College is about becoming a responsible, independent adult, and some new students will be irresponsible in experimenting with alcohol.”

UC Berkeley freshman Reaa Puri and her peers attended a presentation on alcohol use led by a resident director at Clark Kerr Campus on Sunday.

“(The presentation) made me realize there are real consequences and that I should be careful in my actions,” Puri said. “I’m sure it scared people into not drinking or drinking responsibly. But it was Sunday, and that’s when most of the parents left.”

Contact Nico Correia at [email protected].