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Purdue Students: 3 Ways to Stay Safe During Grand Prix Week

Throughout the week of Grand Prix, many Purdue students take time to relax and enjoy the spring weather with friends. At the same time, between Breakfast Club, the Life in Color concert, and the Grand Prix race, there are many opportunities for students to run into trouble with police, particularly when alcohol is involved.
Local police are not the only ones watching Purdue students during Grand Prix weekend. Indiana State Excise Police specifically target weekends and locations for increased police presence where there is a higher likelihood of underage drinking. Last year during Grand Prix week, Excise police alone ticketed 53 people in West Lafayette for primarily alcohol-related offenses, including illegal possession of alcohol and possession of false identification.

The best way to stay safe during Grand Prix week is to plan ahead and know your rights. We hope these tips will help you enjoy the weekend festivities while avoiding a criminal charge.


  1. Know the open container laws. Indiana does not have a state law prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in public places. However, while there is no open container law in West Lafayette, it is prohibited to consume alcohol on Purdue’s campus. Students in violation of the alcohol policy could be disciplined by the university and invitees could be kicked off campus.
  2. Don’t enter the academic buildings after you’ve been drinking. This attracts unnecessary attention and could lead to contact with police. Concerned citizens have called police in the past because they or someone else is alarmed by intoxicated-looking students entering Purdue’s buildings.
  3. Don’t take a minor to the liquor store. Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a Class B misdemeanor in Indiana. On Grand Prix weekend, undercover Excise police wait in the parking lots of liquor stores looking for people who appear to be buying alcohol for minors. When one person enters the store and one stays in the vehicle to wait, this can be a tip-off that the remaining individual in the vehicle is a minor.

If you are approached by police, remain calm and be respectful. Be prepared to show the police your identification, but don’t be subjected to interrogation without an attorney present. Remember, you have the right to remain silent. If you are arrested, contact Gibson Law Office immediately at 765-742-8440 for a free initial consultation to speak with an experienced Lafayette criminal defense attorney.