August 30, 2013
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control would not comment on their outlook on the new school year since the April 11th incident at UVa but John Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute says he's already received a number of calls from concerned students.
"The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by a number of students who are rightly concerned about ABC agents following them around on campus, trailing them to their vehicles, and demanding to see their IDs. There is a distinct difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause," Whitehead says in a statement.
ABC urges students to be responsible this year.
"As NCAA football season kicks off and thousands of students return to college campuses, Virginia ABC encourages those who are of age and choose to drink -- to please drink responsibly," said ABC Public Relations Specialist Kathleen Shaw.
So far, it looks like everyone is preparing for the first big weekend as they would any other year.
"People are still in that oh my gosh I'm so happy to be back so the first friday is our first weekend," said UVa fourth-year student Coco Sednaoui.
The first weekend and the first home football game is mostly routine by now for people like Dennis O'Bier of the Corner Grocery Market on University Avenue.
"We have lines all the way from the register back into the aisles," O'Bier said.
They stocked up Thursday night to be sure they'd be ready for those lines and even had extra cases coming in Friday.
"It might be some of the fraternity guys come in here pulling out four cases a piece," said O'Bier.
With students under and over 21 coming into the 24-hour shop, O'Bier says the ABC sting involving a UVa student in April reminds him all they can do is nicely ask for one thing.
"We just have to be diligent about checking Id's and making sure that the person is who they say they are," he said.
While these fourth-year students are of age and don't have to worry about police, they say they do expect some noise complaints from residents in the Rugby area.
"Two of my friends who live with me, their moms lived in the same house. It's tradition," said said Cristina Yoder who lives in the University Circle area. "It has a rich history and I know there are people complaining but we're not gonna give that up."
But drinks or not, for them this weekend means it's the beginning of the end.
"It's not just about drinking it's about just being together and hanging out. I mean that's what our last year is for."