Metropolitan Police Department officers identified 14 underaged drinkers, mostly Georgetown students, in the popular bar Third Edition shortly after midnight on Friday.
According to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and Representative to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Bill Starrels, those identified had used false identification, but he was unsure whether or not any arrests were made.
While the university’s Department of Public Safety was not involved in the operation, the names of students charged with underage drinking and use of false identification were reported to the university, according to Associate Director of DPS Joseph Smith.
Starrels said that D.C. area university students in general were the focus of the MPD bust, even if the majority were from nearby Georgetown.
“Thirds is an easy target for many college students, not just from Georgetown,” he said. “Georgetown students weren’t the only ones in the establishment at the time, but most of them were.”
According to an affected student who wished to remain anonymous due to the legal implications of her case, police officers were inside Third Edition asking patrons for their IDs.
She said she was approached by an officer asking for the identification she had presented when requesting entry into the establishment. The officer told the student that if she did not want to be arrested, then she needed to provide information about where she had obtained the identification. The officer then asked the student for her campus address and cell phone number when she could not provide the source of her fake ID.
A second student in Third Edition Thursday who also wished to remain anonymous had a similar experience. A male police officer in plain clothes approached her and asked to see her ID. He threatened to arrest her if she did not cooperate. He did not ask where she had obtained her false identification, but did ask her where she was a student.
Neither student has heard from MPD or the university about the incident.
One Third Edition patron admitted to obtaining false identification from a China-based website, Id Chief, according to the DCist.
According to Starrels, Third Edition may face penalties after a hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.
Starrels said that Third Edition will most likely be punished with a suspension of its liquor license, as has occurred in the past. He added that while previous suspensions of the license have occurred on weekdays, Third Edition would most likely have its license suspended on a weekend this time around, significantly impacting business.
Starrels indicated that the establishment was at fault and any punishment will be justified.
“Obviously students were wrong to be going in there to drink, but there is a responsibility by the establishment to do what it takes to keep a young person out of there,” Starrels said. “It’s been suggested multiple times by the ANC that they ask for two IDs automatically.”
The Office of Student Conduct, MPD, the ABRA and Third Edition could not be reached for comment.
— Hoya Staff Writer Laura Engshuber contributed to this report.