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Concerns still loom after vote on UMD alcohol sales | News

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Concerns still loom after vote on UMD alcohol sales

LARGO, Md. (WUSA9) -- Charles Caldwell admitted Wednesday that he was on the fence about whether it was a good idea for the University of Maryland to sell alcohol at its sporting events. At Wednesday night's hearing, however, he and two of his colleagues supported the measure. By a vote of 3 to 1, the liquor board approved the University of Maryland's proposal to sell alcohol at its sporting venues next season.

"They have a big police and ancillary presence, and they're not going to be selling next to the student sections," Caldwell said.

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh says fans can expect to see extra police and staff deployed to monitor fan behavior and a designated driver program promoted throughout the venue.

But Caldwell admits, the biggest challenge will be detecting fake IDs.

"There are offshore sources, I think from China particularly, that are producing IDs that are as good and look like an absolutely perfect Maryland driver's license," Caldwell said.

Maryland Delegate Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk (D) attended Wednesday's meeting and was not surprised at the outcome.

"I'm not surprised but I'm disappointed," Delegate Melnyk said. "I know the board and I know the pressure that was on them to approve this, there's a lot of people who support the University so they worked it"

Melnyk says the idea the University of Maryland would roll out such a controversial proposal at the risk of young people is flat out wrong.

"Regulating it is difficult especially when you're not even going to have wristbands to follow and see how many drinks that child has had," said Delegate Melnyk.

The University of Maryland did not respond to our interview request Wednesday but in a statement President Loh insisted the policy was about creating a healthy drinking environment. Delegate Melnyk isn't buying it, and believes increased revenue for the school was the catalyst.

"Of course it's about the money," said Melnyk. "It's really sad because we shouldn't sacrifice our children for money."


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