Latest stats show fading State Patty’s impact on State College, Penn State

mcarroll@centredaily.comMarch 24, 2014 

The initial signs from State Patty’s Day seemed clear: Arrests were down, and fewer green shirts could be seen.

Now Penn State has released more detailed statistics the university said shows the student-created drinking holiday is fading.

State College police previously said preliminary data showed arrests and citations logged over the weekend were down 75 percent and total crime was down 63 percent from the student-created holiday’s heyday in 2011.

Penn State released additional information Monday pulled from not just State College police, but university police, the Centre County Alcohol Task Force and the borough’s Department of Ordinance Enforcement and Public Health.

The data show:

• Agencies logged 102 arrests and citations from Feb. 28 to March 2, a 58 percent drop from 2013.

• Police reported 135 crime and ordinance violations this year, a 47 percent decease from 254 in 2013.

• Officers made 14 drunken driving arrests, the same as 2013, but down 52 percent from 26 in 2011.

• Mount Nittany Medical Center treated 34 patients for alcohol-related cases, a 32 percent drop from 50 in 2013. The average blood alcohol content of those patients was also lower than it was in 2013.

State College Police Chief Tom King previously attributed the decline in crime to “unusual, unique strategies” by the community, including financial incentives offered the past two years by Penn State to taverns, bottle shops and beer distributors that agreed to go dry on the holiday.

Penn State paid out $211,000 this year alone to 34 downtown establishments and five beer distributors.

“That Mardi Gras kind of party center environment didn’t exist this year,” King previously said. “And I think it was the strategies by the town, the university, the apartment buildings, the bars and the businesses, and even the weather helped.”

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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