Tempe police launch Operation Safe and Sober for new school year

TEMPE, AZ - The start of school means parties, many times underage drinking, and that means a lot of peoples' safety is at risk.

It's the reason why Tempe police along with the help of a number of other partners, kicked off Operation Safe and Sober. Their mission is to help prevent alcohol-related crimes as well as prevent violence leading into ASU's fall semester.

Between 60 and 80 officers patrolled Mill Avenue and surrounding streets on Friday night. Officers were out in patrol cars, motorcycles, even on horseback to ensure their presence was known by all enjoying the bars and other businesses along Mill. It's a police presence returning ASU student Lauren Risner says is necessary after her experience working at a business along Mill for close to a year.

"They'll come in and you can clearly tell that they're intoxicated. But that's Mill Avenue. It's like what you expect on MiIl," Risner said.

Along with the efforts of Operation Safe and Sober, Tempe City Council recently strengthened the Tempe City Code to party hosts. The new code holds hosts even more accountable for illegal activity occurring at their residences. 

"The fines range from $250 all the way to $2,500. It goes up incrementally depending on what has happened or how many times an officer needs to come out there," said Noah Johnson of the Tempe Police Department.

Tempe police will have a command post set up every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for the next three weeks to help monitor Mill Avenue.

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