September 11, 2010
Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, introduced a package of three bills into the state Senate Friday that are intended to tackle alcohol abuse and fund police efforts to
prevent drinking-related crimes. The first two bills would increase the maximum fine for underage drinking and public drunkenness to $1,000 and make repeated underage drinking a misdemeanor, Corman said in a news release.
The existing $300 fine for underage drinking hasn’t changed since 1972. The third bill would allow university towns to charge an additional $100 fee for alcohol-related convictions. To enact the fee, a municipality would need to create an alcohol prevention unit to promote safe drinking practices.
Two-thirds of the 7,000 crimes reported each year in State College are alcohol-related, said State College Police Chief Tom King. The bills, Corman said, will deter alcohol violations and reimburse municipal governments for the costs they absorb from excessive drinking-related crimes.
The bills will be the focus of a state Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearing 1 p.m. Monday in the State College Borough Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St.