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Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner goes national with his pitch to lower the drinking age

Categories: Education

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Remember the burst of publicity that accompanied word that Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner had supported lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 during an interview with 60 Minutes? If not, don't feel bad -- because the flare-up occurred in March 2008, as documented by this Boulder Daily Camera article and a later piece in the University of Colorado-Boulder's Campus Press, an online publication. Well, last night, the report finally aired, and Beckner wasn't exactly the star. Instead, correspondent Lesley Stahl focused on John McCardell, the former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, who's leading a campaign the Boulder law enforcer has joined. However, Beckner did get in his licks early on, saying, "We're not in a situation where we can stop [underage drinking]. The best we can do is try to contain it." Shortly thereafter, he described attempts to enforce current law as follows: "We'd find a party where we know there's underage drinking. We would seal the house. Surround the house with officers and we would write every single underage person coming out of that house. We wrote hundreds and hundreds of tickets those years. All we did is we pushed it further underground." Oh, yeah: CU is labeled one of the nation's "top party schools," and the package's middle section is dominated by the story of the late Gordy Bailey, a CU student who died of alcohol poisoning in 2004 after participating in a hazing ritual. Bet school representatives were thrilled.

Watch the segment in its entirety above.



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