Local News

ALE Agents In Duke Underage Drinking Case Testify In Court

Posted October 28, 2005 9:27 a.m. EDT

— Alcohol Law Enforcement agents testified Friday that they did nothing wrong when they cited hundreds of Duke University students for underage drinking.

In late August, Durham police and ALE officers cited approximately 200 Duke students for underage drinking during the first week of classes after officers raided three parties at houses off-campus in the Trinity Park area.

Earlier in October, many of the students cited agreed to pay a $200 fine, perform community service and write a paper about how alcohol affects the body. Some of the students said their rights were violated and took their case to court.

Defense attorneys claim the agents did not have a search warrant and did not read the students their Miranda rights.

Agents testified Friday they could not wait for a warrant because they were worried intoxicated students would leave and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

They also said Miranda rights were not needed in the case.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin next week.

If District Court Judge Craig Brown decides in the students' favor, the charges will be dropped against them. A decision could also affect other cases in which students pleaded guilty to the citations.


Don Ingle