Green Beer Day, Miami’s annual 24-hour party binge, occurred again this year. Students donned commemorative t-shirts, trekked Uptown and downed green alcohol and bagels. From 2 a.m. on March 16 to 2 a.m. on March 17, the OPD cited 66 total offenses.
But both MUPD Chief John McCandless and OPD Chief John Jones reported that this was relatively ordinary.
“I actually think that Green Beer Day would be a fairly non-event without media coverage from the outside,” said Jones.
Miami has been heavily criticized in recent months for its alcohol issues, after a weekend in February that saw 21 students hospitalized with alcohol-related complications. But media scrutiny did not seem to faze this year’s holiday and its participants, as the number of citations and arrests were not notably different than years prior.
“From a strictly on-campus perspective, we certainly weren’t any busier [than last year],” said McCandless. “If anything, I would say it was a little less busy in terms of calls.”
However, the MUPD and OPD did increase preventative as well as educational measures prior to and during Green Beer Day.
“The only difference is we just tried to get out and operate a little heavier on the days prior to Green Beer Day,” said Jones. “Our thinking is that students are preparing for the party, going out there and buying stuff, so if we can do a little prevention and deterrence there that might help.”
According to a press release issued by the OPD, they arrested seven people for fake IDs in the two days before Green Beer Day. On March 15 at 11:07 p.m., the OPD also arrested a Swerve’Em Taxi driver, citing him for an open container in a motor vehicle and littering.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) also assisted this year, working with the OPD to establish an OVI checkpoint at the intersection of Church and North Main Street.
“We do our best to provide adequate staffing to target areas and help prevent impaired driving,” said Lt. Clint Arnold of OSHP.
They made one OVI arrest at the checkpoint and four others elsewhere, but could not confirm whether those involved were students.
The OPD Friday, March 17 press release detailed Oxford’s “GBD festivities” as well as their added precautions before the holiday.
“The Oxford Police Department would like to thank the many students who acted responsibly and respectfully throughout the day, as well as the community members and organizations that stepped up and assisted with prevention efforts such as alternative programming and distribution of water, food and education materials,” the press release stated.
It highlighted the MUPD and OPD’s collaboration, along with other law enforcement in the area, and mentioned that most incidents occurred between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on March 16.
“Enhanced enforcement efforts and techniques resulted in enforcement numbers increasing for Underage Alcohol Violations compared to the past few years,” the press release said. “Other citations remained consistent with the past GBD numbers.”
Jones confirmed these figures.
“Green Beer Day over the last few years has been very manageable for us, and for the most part, students behaved themselves and things weren’t too crazy,” said Jones.