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Officials: UW Students drinking 'extreme'

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:50:29 AM CST   Updated On: Sep 08 2013 12:59:59 PM CDT
College Drinking

The University of Wisconsin Police Department said it's been dealing with more dangerously drunken students, and there's only been one game in this year's college football season.

Last week, two female students were taken to the hospital after being found not just drunk, but dangerously drunk.

UWPD Sgt. Mike Chapin said it was shocking to hear the blood-alcohol content numbers.

"Somebody conveyed at a 0.37 percent. That is alarming," Chapin said. "That is something we don't see on a regular basis."

But in the emergency room of St. Mary's hospital, doctors like Dr. Mike Halberg said he's seen his fair share of those students who went way over their body's limit.

"One, they have no tolerance. Two, they have no experience to know how much they can drink without it getting dangerous," Halberg said.

The problem has long been an issue on campus. The UW has had the reputation as a party school for more than three decades. Lori Berquam, UW dean of students, said the school has put keeping students safe ahead of punishing irresponsible drinking, but the problem runs far deeper than lack of discipline.

"This is a deep-seated cultural problem," Berquam said. "How do we prevent to difficult situations from happening to our young people?"

The university does eject students for being too drunk at sporting events. After ejection, students are subjected to breath tests before gaining entry to any game for the rest of the season. 

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