Thirty-five arrested Thursday morning at 315 Exchange

Published 9:33 am Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thirty-five people, including a 17-year-old, were arrested early Thursday morning at the 315 Exchange for underage consumption of alcohol.

Two bartenders could also be facing charges for consuming alcohol on the job, pending an investigation, according to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Lt. Thomas Price with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said that two undercover agents, seven ABC officers and the Troy Police Department took part in the routine inspection and arrests.

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“We went out and found our worst nightmare,” Price said. “Minors are getting into the clubs and drinking, and this is one of the newest places in town.”

A Troy University student who asked not to be identified said she’d just arrived at 315 Exchange moments before officers entered.

“The band had just started playing,” she said. “We turned around and there were about six cops walking in the front door.”

The student said officers instructed the crowd to divide up.

“Left side under 21, of age or older on the right,” she said.

As she took her place on the 21 and up side, the student said she watched as officers pulled out breathalyzers and administered tests to everyone under age.

“Everyone that didn’t pass, they sectioned them off and started arresting them,” she said. “Twenty of them were probably sorority girls.”

The club at 315 S. Three Notch was shut down for the night and law enforcement officers checked IDs for everyone who had moved to the 21-and-up side of the room before they were allowed to leave.

Price said 34 people were taken to Troy City Jail and the 17-year-old was turned over to a juvenile probation officer and then released to a guardian.

Troy Police Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said that of the 34 taken to the city jail, 24 were females and 10 were males.

Cars with sorority stickers and Troy University parking decals were still in the parking lot of the club after 9 a.m. Thursday.

Troy University officials released a statement Thursday afternoon that said 31 of the underage drinkers arrested were registered students at the university.

“According to student conduct policies, each student arrested for minor in consumption will face the student judicial process, and will be required to attend an alcohol awareness and education program,” the statement said.

The official charge for the underage drinkers, Price said, is being a minor in possession of alcohol, which is a misdemeanor offense.

The owner of the 315 Exchange is facing multiple citations and fines, Price said. However, the club is allowed to remain open for business.

“We by no means condone underage drinking,” said Bobby Robinson, owner of the 315 Exchange. “We mark them at the door when they come in.”

Robinson said his business, which opened on Nov. 12, 2011, would be serving customers again Thursday night.

“I try to do things the right way,” Robinson said. “We are going to take every step necessary to see that this doesn’t happen again.”