APD focuses on underage drinking during RoundUp weekend

AddThis

Austin-Travis County EMS responds to an emergency situation during a RoundUp event Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

Despite a recent sound ordinance in West Campus, more tickets were issued for underage drinking than for noise complaints during RoundUp last weekend.

Officers of the Public Assembly Code Enforcement (PACE) team, which works to reduce City Code violations, issued 68 tickets for minors in possession of alcohol and two tickets for violation of the City’s noise ordinance that restricts outside music to 75 decibels, according to APD Sgt. Alfred Trejo.

“In the past, we may have let noise complaints slide because we’re focusing more on underage drinking,” Trejo said.

Trejo, who represents APD on the PACE team, said the team went to approximately 12 parties in West Campus and shut down three of them.

“The parties that are getting shut down are not so much related to the noise ordinance, but that when the police are showing up, no one’s complying, or they’re overcrowding their parties,” Trejo said. “They weren’t controlling the number of the people the fire marshal originally told them they could have.”

Chemical engineering freshman Drishti Wadhwa attended RoundUp for the first time as a member of Texas Bluebonnets. After attending multiple events, Wadhwa said she had a good time but was surprised at how many drunk people she encountered.

Wadhwa said it wasn’t clear to why a party she attended was shut down. 

“I went to Zeta Psi, and it got shut down for some reason,” Wadhwa said. “I wasn’t really sure what happened, but they were like, ‘Please exit,’ so then we all just went to Whataburger.”

After attending RoundUp last year and going to multiple parties that were shut down for capacity issues, rhetoric and writing senior Sierra Vela said she decided to opt out of the festivities this year.

Vela said she lives in West Campus near three fraternity houses and tolerates the occasional weekend party but said she tried to stay out of her apartment because of the noise she knew the weekend would bring.

“RoundUp is a special time of year since the noise tends to be day and night for the entire weekend,” Vela said. “The times I was in my apartment over the weekend, I could hear one party or another. Bad country music and lots of random mass screaming during the day then rap or whatever at night.”

Besides RoundUp, Vela said she normally has issues with noise at the beginning and end of semesters.

“I will say that the frats do a pretty decent job of keeping the noise down during the week, which I appreciate,” Vela said.

In order to focus on the issue of underage drinking, Trejo said his team only issued tickets to fraternities if it received multiple 911 calls about the noise. 

“Specific to the sound ordinance, for the most part, every fraternity that had a band outside was, basically, in violation,” Trejo said. “We took the sound meter with us and measured.”

Most fraternities were issued warnings for their noise but almost all of them had outside entertainment that was over the City’s limit, Trejo said.

“There’s no way you can keep a band down to 75 decibels outside,” Trejo said. “We really didn’t see anyone making attempts to push their bands inside unless we told them to.”