Hartford Police crack down on underage drinking at concerts

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford Police are cracking down on concert goers after a number of issues with underage drinking.

They’re trying to stop scenes like this — a brawl at a Rascal Flatts concert last year.

So far this summer, dozens have been taken to the hospital from those concerts with alcohol poisoning.

Police enforced the rules at Friday’s Florida Georgia Line concert at the Xfinity Theatre. They say this concert was calmer than others.

Lee Black went to the Florida Georgia Line concert with her two children. One of them is old enough to legally drink, but the other is underage. They talked about drinking before the show.

“As soon as we pulled in, we pointed out there’s an undercover cop there, there’s cops there,” said Black. “You’re not allowed to drink. You have to watch what you’re doing.”

Of course, many concert goers were drinking before the show got started and they noticed the police presence. Police patrolled the parking lots, looking for anyone who might be underage or doing anything unsafe. They were expecting about 24,000 people to attend the show and they had 90 officers there to keep them safe.

“This will probably be our largest underage drinking enforcement effort that we’ve had thus far,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.

The hope was that the police presence would discourage underage drinking. They patrolled in cars and on bicycles. Many attending the show were glad to see them.

“It’s pretty good actually. These kids are all underage drinking, so we need to crack down on that, just for their safety,” said Dylan Krivickas of New Britain.

After underage drinking incidents at several other concerts in the city, police aren’t taking any chances. That’s something parents were glad to see.

“We watched the cops walk through and question the kids and it’s great,” said Black. “It’s great to see that they’re actually taking that extra step.”