Why do college parties get busted?

The police certainly do not bust all college parties, but it is something that happens with a fair amount of frequency. They show up at an off-campus apartment, for instance, and underage students run in all directions, afraid of getting charges for being a minor in possession of alcohol. They know they’re not supposed to drink, but it’s common at college, and it’s easier than many parents want to admit for teens to get alcohol. 

One thing you may be wondering is why these parties even get busted in the first place. Wouldn’t it be easy for one student who is 21 years of age or older to buy alcohol for a friend? Even if they’re drinking it illegally, surely the police can’t just drive around knocking on doors to check, right? 

Technically, the police can knock on doors, but they need to have some reason to search the home or apartment, so they can’t just storm in. It’s not really a common practice for them to drop by when there’s no evidence of illegal activity — four friends drinking wine and watching a movie in the basement, for instance. 

What happens is that these parties grow to massive proportions. They may get very loud. Students may be outside, drinking in the yard. The music could be blaring at full blast, late into the night. The police show up because a neighbor calls in a noise complaint. Then they find the underage students and begin making arrests. 

Four students quietly watching a movie probably wouldn’t get caught. Dozens of students holding a rowdy party probably will. The type of drinking and socializing a student does play a big role in the outcome of that night, and those who get arrested must know their legal defense options.