Boise Police, Boise State Unveil Pilot Diversion Program to Tackle Underage Drinking

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Prior to his retirement, then-Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson told Boise Weekly in 2014 that he was particularly concerned about what he saw as a growing trend of a significant number of young adults being arrested for underage drinking.

"The criminal justice system is antiquated in Idaho when it comes to crime and punishment—especially when we hand out misdemeanors to kids who have been consuming alcohol," Masterson told BW. "Look, we can talk tough. But is that what you really want for your son or daughter? You know, things are a little different in some rural sections of Idaho where the local sheriff just calls the parents if the kids are caught drinking. But when those same kids come down to the Treasure Valley and they're attending Boise State and they're caught with an open container, they could become a criminal. Do you want that? I want to see that fixed."

And this morning, the Boise Police Department, along with Boise State University, announced that it was launching what it called an Alcohol Diversion Program "to give underage students a second chance if they're found with alcohol on campus."

The voluntary program, which would run as a pilot program through May 31, would only include enrolled students who have been charged with a first offense of underage alcohol possession or consumption on campus. If eligible, the student may choose to participate in a program that would include an alcohol education course. But a student may opt out of the program and receive a normal citation to take to court. You can read more about the program here.