State Patty's Day made a resurgence in 2016, with a corresponding increase in alcohol-related arrests and overdoses over 2015. After the Penn State drinking holiday gradually decreased in magnitude over the past few years, restrictions were relaxed on bars, fraternities and apartment parties this year. Although arrests and police calls were up, 2016 paled in comparison to 2011, the year with the worst State Patty's Day behavior. Naturally, some responsible adults in State College and even some undergrad students are alarmed and outraged by the collateral damage caused by a massive army of drunkards.
Amid great controversy, State College bars were paid by the borough and Penn State to close on State Patty's Day for the second year in a row, harming the local economy in order to take the moral high ground. Of course, State Patty's Day always falls on a Saturday, which is the most socially appropriate day of the week to drink, and that is why it the biggest bar day of the week, even outside of college football season. By contrast, St. Patrick's Day can fall on any day of the week, and this year it falls on Monday, which is probably the least socially appropriate day to drink, being the start of a work week and all.
While State Patty's Day mayhem is but a mere shell of its former self, it appears the tradition of IU Patty's Day is just gaining traction. Although the IUP student-created holiday has been around since 2012, it did not attract much notoriety until this past weekend, when things got out of hand. Videos show drunken young people blocking traffic, walking around with open containers of alcohol, jumping on cars, fighting, throwing objects and screaming and yelling.
Apparently, Prohibition did not end in 1933 after all, at least in State College, Pennsylvania, where it has now become a tradition to revive the failed social experiment each State Patty's Day. All the downtown bars, six pack shops, beer distributors and state stores will be closed this year. With the exception of the government-owned state stores, all the private businesses are being compensated by university and municipal government money to partially offset the big financial hit they will take by closing on a Saturday. The servers and bartenders, who are not exactly in the same wealth category as bar owners, will be given a one day unpaid vacation, on the heels of sober THON weekend and two dead spring break weekends to follow.
State Patty's Day is one of Penn State's newest traditions, and also by far the most controversial. Few people were ever truly offended by the time-honored and comical Mifflin Streak, but many State College residents have expressed annoyance over the unabashed bacchanalian festival created in 2007, when Old Main deliberately scheduled spring break when students would not be in town for St. Patrick's Day. Penn State's plan backfired when the students created the alternative holiday known as "State Patty's Day," which turned out to involve far more irresponsible drinking than the original Irish drinking holiday ever did in State College.
Summary offenses are the least serious criminal offenses under Pennsylvania law. Common summary offenses include underage drinking, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and a first offense retail theft. Although these offenses are not nearly as serious as misdemeanors or felonies, they are criminal offenses nonetheless, and accordingly, they carry the possibility of jail time, in addition to fines and court costs. The maximum penalty for a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code is 90 days in county jail.