UW Police concerned with high BAC levels - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW Police concerned with high BAC levels

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The beginning of the school year usually means more underage drinking citations from University of Wisconsin-Madison Police. Authorities say 25 have been issued in a little over a week which isn't out of the ordinary.

The number of dangerously drunk students, however, has gotten attention. "This year is a little bit more alarming," Sgt. Aaron Chapin says.

Police say of the 25 people cited for underage drinking, 10 were taken to detox. They also say two 19-year-old women were treated for BAC's at .33 and .37. "There are a lot of resources being used revolving around this particular problem ,' Chapin says.

UW Hospital Emergency Room Dr. Jeff Pothof says he's also noticed an increase in extremely drunk students. "So .3 and higher, you start to go into a coma. So essentially your brains not able to control what your body does anymore including important functions, including breathing," he says.

An Iowa college student had her mug shot released after she was recently arrested for public intoxication at a football game. But University Police have not released the names of those arrested here. "It's a very delicate balance," Chapin says.

Officials don't know exactly why students are drinking more but want to make sure they're aware of possible consequences.

"I know that our Dean of Students office, our Police Department, the University Housing System, the Athletic Department, all work very hard to try to modify this behavior if possible, to try to educate and to try and make sure the students who are living on campus are aware that this behavior is extremely dangerous," Chapin says.

Police say students have to take alcohol education freshman year. Chapin adds that those who don't want to drink aren't alone on campus and the university does have resources available for those struggling with alcohol abuse.

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