Berkeley cops to boost booze busts

With classes beginning next week at the University of California at Berkeley, police are reminding students to be safe and responsible when drinking alcohol.

The Police Department announced Thursday it would step up enforcement for alcohol-related crimes in an attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related calls for service.

This fall, the Police Department will partner with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct enforcement on alcohol-related crimes and to advocate responsible and safe celebrating, police said.

Together, the two agencies will focus on citing people who posses open alcoholic beverages in public, reducing the availability of alcohol to persons under 21, citing minors who attempt to purchase or obtain alcohol with false forms of identification and over-service of alcoholic beverages, according to police.

In addition, police will respond to calls involving intoxicated persons in public and will work with Berkeley Fire Department to provide medical treatment when necessary, police said.

The Police Department will also continue its partnership with UC Berkeley police and begin safety patrols in the neighborhoods surrounding the school. The patrols will run Thursday through Saturday nights, according to police.

Together, the officers will be enforcing laws related to alcohol offenses, as well as nuisance issues in the areas around the campus, such as large and unruly parties, police said.

For more information about safe and responsible drinking, students and residents can visit http://uhs.berkeley.edu/psafe/.