Black Girl, Red State: Police Presence on Campus

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I can vividly remember the night life of my freshman year of college. Two solid places to party and a lot of distraction from the boredom of school. It seemed like there was always something going on. Whether discreet or a celebration for a winning game, it made being here much more enjoyable.

Over the years I have seen police presence reach an all time high. The worst part is that students do not have much of a relationship with the HPD and at times it can feel that NEC works with the Police department to detain students.

Police are often seen patrolling the streets, parked in the dark shadows, stationed in front of College Convenience and making traffic stops right before crossing the bridge. This makes it hard for any type of festivities to go on. If you are underage and drinking, you’re in constant fear of being caught by HPD. In many states the BAC level is .07, in NH if you are underage is it .02.

Coming from a city where underage drinking isn’t a concern of the Police Department, it hinders you because in your eyes it’s “not that serious.” This makes you question what to expect out of your college experience.

We’re students. We came here to do our studies, have a little fun, and maybe join a sport or two but in these encounters with town police officers, this is forgotten or stripped away. Being in such a small place you would think that discretion would be practiced more frequently, but when it comes to drinking the police are unable to practice discretion. A situation can go two different ways quickly, and with this increase in presence students are getting into trouble with the law. Most have never been arrested until arriving here.

In freshman orientation they highlight no underage drinking but I don’t think they give you enough background knowledge or in depth information that leaves you thoroughly educated. A lot of trouble over the years would’ve been easy for me to avoid from knowing all that there is to know about state law, especially if you are coming from a city or foreign country.

New Hampshire alcohol laws are very different: this is what you need to know so you do not get into trouble due to lack of knowledge.

• It is a criminal act for anyone under 21 to drive with a BAC over .02.
• It is a criminal act to use a false ID to buy alcohol.
• Retailers may/can sue anyone under 21 who uses a fake ID to buy alcohol from them.
• Drivers who use their license to buy alcohol for anyone under 21 is violating the law and is punishable of 90 days license suspension.
• It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol.
• If alcohol is in its original container and the seal is unbroken it can be transported in the passenger seat, if it is open it needs to be in the trunk.
• Anyone under the age of 21 cannot transport alcohol unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or legal age spouse.
• If an underage driver is convicted of driving with alcohol in his or her car, he or she faces a loss of license for 60 days.

NH Laws are hard to agree with for a young adolescent wanting to have fun. Students need to better understand them so they can do so.

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