PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Proposed Bill to Increase Drinking Fines

In an attempt to crackdown on alcohol related crime in college towns, a buzzkill bill has passed through the Pennsylvania senate that would increase the maximum fines for public drunkenness and underage drinking violations.

Both offenses would come with a maximum penalty of $1000 under the new bill. That’s a 100% increase from the $500 fine currently levied in underage drinking cases and up 233% from the current $300 public drunkenness citation.

According to a spokeswoman in the governor’s office, Tom Corbett is likely to pass the legislation when it comes across his desk.

The bill was introduced by republican senator Jake Corman, back in 2010, when the national spotlight was on Penn State’s drinking culture. After being tabled for two years, the bill was re-introduced last week in a Senate Judiciary Committee that was attended by State College Police Chief, Tom King.

According to Sen. Corman, the added financial penalty will not only help curb dangerous drinking by bankrupting the mom and dad of offenders, but it will give relief to those really footing the bill for out-of-control keggers — the tax payers.

State College Borough spends nearly half of its annual budget on law enforcement and of crimes responded to by State College police, two-thirds are alcohol related. The revenue produced by this bill would help alleviate the financial burden on local municipalities dealing with a bunch of drunk 20-some-year-olds pissing on lawns and puking in pizza shops.

Corman also noted that the $300 public drunkenness fine is due for a check with the inflation rate as it hasn’t seen an increased since 1972. But $300 is exactly what Corman was fined in 1995 when he was arrested for drunk driving in Arlington, Virginia.  Corman’s bill doesn’t directly address penalties for DUI charges.

Also, legislation that is bundled with the aforementioned bill gives college towns the power to add a $100 fee to all alcohol-related offenses to fund the creation of an alcohol prevention unit.

Under these conditions, a student found drinking under 21 or stumbling down College Ave could expect to pay $1,000 in initial fines, an added $100 to help pay  for more undercover cop cars and the $200 fine levied on Penn Staters for university mandated alcohol intervention called BASICS. That’s the cost of over 81 cases of Natty Light.

Is a $1300 fine an appropriate punishment for a night of boozing? Should local tax-payers and municipalities continue to bear the cost of punch drunk students? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.

Jake Corman Admits to DUI, Smoking Pot, Centre Daily Times, May 1, 1998.

About the Author


More by Evan

Penn State Students Ask Willard Preacher for a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

A group of Penn State feminists combated the Willard Preacher’s hateful rhetoric about sexuality and women by staging a flashmob to the tune of “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. Watch the video and weigh in after the jump.

#MusicMonday: Spring Break-It-Down

Artists Announced for Largest Outdoor EDM Concert to Hit Happy Valley


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend