Party Patrols

Description

Law enforcement officers respond to reports of unruly parties in residential areas and ticket underage youth in possession of alcohol and the adults who provided the alcohol. Enforcement costs are covered by fines levied against property owners when police respond to a disturbance associated with a party involving underage drinking.

Objective(s)

To limit social availability of alcohol to underage youth

Typical Elements

  • Collaboration between agencies responsible for responding to calls and complaints about unruly parties (e.g., law enforcement, campus department of public safety) and other invested community members and groups (e.g., parents, high school and college/university representatives; Gabriel et al., 2008; OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, 2011).
  • Written legal guidance on how to intervene effectively with unruly parties, making sure to standardize procedures for community and campus law enforcement agencies (OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, 2010).
  • A “party buster hotline” so that people can report information on underage drinking parties (Gabriel et al., 2008; OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, 2011).
  • Prevention champions and stakeholders who collaborate with potential party sites, such as fraternities, sororities, and local motels to educate potential hosts and help inform appropriate intervention strategies (OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, 2010).
  • Clear procedures for processing and controlled dispersal of party-goers. Processing involves deploying officers to establish an outer- and an inner-perimeter around the party site, gathering party-goers into a secure area, administering preliminary breath tests, photographing subjects, issuing citations as appropriate, and arranging safe transportation from the party. Controlled dispersal involves surveillance, traffic monitoring, and scene security. Law enforcement officials can (Morrison et al., 2011):
    • Conduct briefings to review current department policy
    • Develop tactical plans for intervention and dispersal that protect party-goers and officers
    • Prepare a kit to help guide police officers in appropriate procedures that includes relevant documentation
    • Train all participating officers to implement procedures
  • A monitoring system to track the numbers and types of alcohol citations issued (e.g., alcohol citation database; Gabriel et al., 2008; NHTSA, 2001).
  • A communication strategy to promote community awareness of and participation in party patrol efforts. Strategies can include (OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, 2010; OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, 2011):
    • Educating the focus population (i.e., underage, particularly college-age, youth), neighbors, landlords, and businesses about the problems associated with out-of-control parties and what they can do to reduce the risk.
    • Publicizing enforcement efforts, including the hotline number. 
    • Educating the focus population (i.e., underage, particularly college-age, youth) about applicable laws and consequences of violating those laws.
    • Utilizing the media to raise awareness and build support. See Media Advocacy.

Populations

  • Youth under age 21
  • Party hosts/adults who provide alcohol to underage youth

Outcomes

No outcome data found for role of party patrols in preventing underage drinking and/or its consequences by itself; however, when implemented as part of a multi-component environmental prevention strategy on college campuses, party patrols have been associated with reductions in:

  • Heavy episodic drinking by college students (Saltz, Welker, Paschall, Feeney & Fabiano, 2009)
  • Incidence and likelihood of intoxication at off-campus parties, bars, and restaurants (Saltz, Paschall, McGaffigan,  & Nygaard, 2012)
  • Calls to service for law enforcement to respond to problems at off-campus locations  (OJJDP’s Underage Alcohol Enforcement Training Center, 2012)
  • Underage drinking citations off-campus (OJJDP’s Underage Alcohol Enforcement Training Center, 2012)

Guidelines

A Practical Guide to Preventing and Dispersing Underage Drinking Parties

Community How To Guide on…Enforcement

Party Patrols: Best Practice Guidelines for College Communities

Recognition

Athena Forum: Excellence in Prevention

References

Gabriel, R., Becker, L., Leahy, S. K., Landy, A. L., Metzger, J., Orwin, R., . . . Stein-Seroussi, A. (2008, April 30). Assessing the fidelity of implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework in SPF SIG-funded communities: User’s guide and fidelity assessment rubrics (version 2).

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (2001). Community how to guide on…enforcement. Retrieved from https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/alcohol/Community%20Guides%20HTML/Book5_Enforcement.html#Controlled%20dispersal

OJJDP’s Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center. (2010). Party patrols: Best practice guidelines for college communities. Calverton, MD: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

OJJDP’s Underage Alcohol Enforcement Training Center. (2011). A practical guide to preventing and dispersing underage drinking parties. Beltsville, MD: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Retrieved from https://www.prev.org/safer-toolkit/Toolkit%20attachments/Party%20Patrols/16%20OJJDP%20preventing%20and%20dispersing%20parties.pdf

OJJDP’s Underage Alcohol Enforcement Training Center. (2012). OJJDP development grants to colleges yield improvement in underage drinking enforcement.Beltsville, MD: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

Saltz, R. F., Paschall, M. J., McGaffigan, R. P., & Nygaard, P. M. (2010). Alcohol risk management in college settings: The safer California universities randomized trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 39(6), 491–499.

Saltz, R. F., Welker, L. R., Paschall, M. J., Feeney, M. A., & Fabiano, P. M. (2009). Evaluating a comprehensive campus-community prevention intervention to reduce alcohol-related problems in a college population. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Supp16, 21–27.