Let’s go Rams! It’s time to look forward to the delights of homecoming again. Whether you spend your time hanging out with family, friends, attending the homecoming parade or game, food and alcohol will most likely be there. If you decide to drink, be aware of the consequences you may encounter if you are not smart about it.
Typical Questions Regarding Fines:
1. Q: I’m under 21, but my parents let me drink alcohol at home. If they are okay with it, how can I be charged at West Chester University?
A: It is illegal for underage persons, or those under 21, to consume alcohol away from the home and out of the supervision of one’s parent. An underage fine is a summary offense and can range anywhere between $250-600, along with other court and attorney expenses.
2. Q: What if my charge from the West Chester Borough is lowered to a disorderly conduct? Will I still have to pay a fine?
A: Yes, even though disorderly conduct is not usually seen as serious as an underage violation, fines can range between $100-500, because it is still considered a summary offense.
3. Q: I’m 21, so I am legally allowed to drink; how can I get fined in the West Chester Borough?
A: Being 21 allows you to drink legally, but requires responsibly. The law enforces this requirement by imposing the open-container, drunk in public, and disorderly conduct violations. Being that all of these violations are summary offenses fines are still imposed between $100-500.
4. Q: If I have a party at my off campus apartment and someone brings an underage person, am I held responsible if that person drinks?
A: Yes. Any underage person that consumes alcohol on your personal property can cost you a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 per person underage in the home.
5. Q: What if I call for a friend who may need to go to the hospital while on campus? Will I get an underage citation too?
A: No, based on the new Good Samaritan Law in Pennsylvania, you will not get cited whether on or off campus. In order for this to happen, you need to be the one to place the call to the emergency personnel, tell them what is going on, and stay with that person until help arrives.
As you can see, fines can be very costly. Depending on your situation you may be responsible to pay fines to the borough, university, or both. Be smart during the homecoming festivities and monitor your behavior and drinks at all times. You may or may not drink, but either way, make wise decisions and look out for your friends as well. You’re in college, you deserve to have a good time, but be sure to stay safe while doing it!
Written by DeVonna Smith, Peer Educator