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27 arrested in Terre Haute underage drinking sweep

A crackdown on underage drinking near the Indiana State University campus netted 27 arrests and 14 citations Friday night in Terre Haute.

Excise officers arrested 17 minors, including two who were younger than 18, for illegal possession or consumption of alcohol, according to an emailed statement from the agency. Nine adults were charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, the statement said.

Two other minors were arrested for open-container violations and 10 others on a variety of traffic offenses.

In one vehicle stop, a Laurel woman was charged with drunken driving after and officer observed four passengers without seat belts in her back seat. Police found two cups of draft beer and an open can of beer in the back seat, the statement said.

Excise police were working in Terre Haute as part of the new Intensified College Enforcement initiative. The ICE program aims to reduce underage drinking at or near six college campuses in Indiana: Ball State, Butler, Indiana University, Indiana State, Notre Dame and Purdue, according to the agency.

The Indiana State Excise Police is the enforcement arm of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. Although its officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.