APD warns of misinterpreting law while drinking with moms

Although some students choose to take their moms hiking at The Ridges or to a nice restaurant Uptown for Ohio University’s Moms Weekend, others take the opportunity to show their parents the Athens spirit and hit the bars.

Naturally, with an influx of mothers in the area, Athens Police Department officials said rowdiness tends to spike.

“You get enough people in (the) area, there’s going to be conflict,” said APD Captain Ralph Harvey. “You’re going to bump into each other; you’re going to offend someone’s father, mother, sibling. … Arguments will start. That’s when we get involved.”

Although officers don’t put moms in cuffs often, Harvey said it’s not entirely unheard of. He recounted an incident a few years back when a few mothers attempted to assault a police officer after he tried to handcuff one of their sons.

“That is the most outlandish one that I can think of, and I worked a lot of those weekends,” he said.

The arrest had stemmed from the man, who was underage, carrying an open container in public, he said.

“I still don’t quite understand why they attacked the other officer,” Harvey said.

“They tried to drag him away. Bad judgment, bad decision, I guess.”

Though OU Police Department Lt. Tim Ryan said his department doesn’t experience a significant increase in arrests on Moms Weekend, he said that moms who do get in trouble are typically cited for alcohol-related offenses.

During last year’s Moms Weekend, OUPD arrested six individuals on alcohol-related charges, including one charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence.

“I think the students’ mistakes stay the same no matter what weekends there are,” he said.

Yet, even if arrests don’t skyrocket thanks to the added mothers in town, the bars certainly become a bit more packed.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, one can drink at the bars underage if his or her parents accompany them.

But OU’s Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones said she’s not too worried about the underagers going to the uptown establishments with their moms.

“I have little concerns about students drinking with parents, as they can certainly do so legally,” Hall-Jones said in an email.

The law requires underagers to remain under the supervision of their parents, so one can’t venture off alone into other bars.

Though more students will be hitting those bars, APD and OUPD both said they wouldn’t be increasing police presence.

“We’re always on standby,” Harvey said. “So if the department sees a major increase in the uptown activities, we’ll call everyone in.”





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