Five Oxford businesses were issued citations during alcohol compliance checks and dozens of arrests were made during the LSU weekend.
Police recorded 26 DUIs and dozens of other alcohol and drug related charges during the game day revelry. Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen said there was a higher police visibility, but not necessarily extra resources, during the LSU weekend because officer schedules were tweaked to accommodate the game kickoff time.
“We had a pretty rough crowd during the Arkansas game, and they had changed the ballgame time for LSU so we brought more people in for post game which freed up our officers to assist patrol or handle the square,” McCutchen said.
McCutchen said it takes around 31 officers to handle ballgame traffic and historically, officers have come in around three hours before kickoff. With Arkansas’ 11 a.m. kickoff, it gave people time to hit their second wind and go back out.
“With that you have a whole new surge of energy coming to the square, and that left our night time reserves depleted,” he said.
A smaller number of officers came in to work early, and a larger number took their shifts around the 4th quarter of the game to help manage post game traffic, McCutchen said. That way, when traffic had thinned, those resources were available in town and around the square.
“We were just out and about. There were a lot of arrests — a lot of DUIs and that’s a trend we want to combat,” McCutchen said. “When we see that many under-the-influence drivers with that many visitors in town, we need to do our best to keep our public safe. That’s a number that was too high in a world where we can rideshare.”
Oxford Police Department also said in a release that citations were issued for the sale of alcohol to the minor after checks were conducted at Walgreens, Lamar Yard, Marathon Gas Station on South Lamar, Brittany Store, and Joysticks. Each of these businesses were issued a post-arrest citation.
A check was also conducted at Rockette’s Gas Station. They were the only business to refuse the sale to a minor.