Student drinking violations at UH Manoa soar by nearly 50 percent

Drinking violations at UH Manoa increase to nearly 50 percent
Published: Nov. 4, 2015 at 11:50 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 5, 2015 at 4:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Liquor law violations on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus soared by nearly 50 percent last year. It's the most citations since at least 2007.

According to the annual UH Security & Fire Safety Report, UH campus security issued 932 citations for drinking violations in 2014, up from 627 in the year-earlier.

"It's certainly alarming overall because it shows about a 50 percent increase from last year to this year," said Carol McNamee, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii.

UH officials said they don't know why the numbers are up but they noted that the number of violations reported on the Manoa campus are far fewer than on many mainland universities that are often considered "party schools."

"What we take from this report is that we know that our employees in student housing are doing their job. They're identifying the issues and issuing the citations," said UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.

Contributing to the problem? The availability of alcohol on campus.

"It's easy to get alcohol but I only see it if I'm with upperclassmen," said UH student Naomi Orpelli.

Added fellow student Timmy Allen: "You can ask a lot of people and probably get alcohol pretty easy."

These citations are not criminal violations and are handled internally. Campus officials say the punishments are rarely severe.

"We're not looking to punish students. This is an institution of higher education. We're looking to educate so the students can learn from these incidents," Meisenzahl said.

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