Video: Boulder portrayed as drunk-walking capital on 20/20
The most recent episode of the ABC news magazine 20/20 featured a segment about drunk walking, with correspondent Amy Robach declaring that it happens in a certain community pretty much every weekend.
Which one? The piece on view below answers that question with a cut to a bunch of boisterous dudes declaring, "Boulder!"
Not a shock that 20/20 would focus on the home of CU-Boulder, given the university's wild-n-crazy rep. While it didn't crack the Princeton Review's most recent party-school top twenty, it placed first on the publication's "reefer madness" list. Moreover, it recently wound up in third position in a Newsweek/Daily Beast party-school roundup -- based on arrests, strangely enough. And last year, Playboy named CU-Boulder the nation's top party school, for the following reasons:
CU-Boulder is home to reefer madness. Not only does Boulder have 50 medical-marijuana dispensaries within its city limits, but every April nearly half the university's 24,000-plus undergrads turn out for the annual 4/20 smoke-out on school grounds. Boulder is also a beer drinker's paradise, with four breweries in town. "There are a lot of distractions from school -- snowboarding, mountain biking, super hot girls," says one alum. Literally dozens of world-class ski resorts are a drive away. You know Boulder is a party school because whenever you tell someone that you went there, the first thing they ask is, "Did you graduate?"
Another lure: The May arrest of Zoey Ripple, a recent CU grad who was shot in the hip after drunkenly entering the wrong house. Ripple's case is prominently featured in the 20/20 report.
Then again, some of the most raucous package footage of Boulderites partying is of the vintage variety -- including multiple clips showing a Project X-style St. Patrick's Day party this past March -- despite a video crew from the program visiting the city earlier this month. According to CU student sources, assorted Greek organizations on campus were warned in advance that 20/20 was coming to town in the hope of capturing folks too soused to put one foot in front of the other. Hence, the night of ABC's visit was unusually dry.
Not that every son and daughter of Boulder who made the final cut is a model of sobriety. Note the dude who, when asked to name the current president, answers, "Osama bin Laden."
Plenty of CU-Boulder students were pissed at the 20/20 salvo, venting on Facebook and elsewhere about how drunk walking no doubt happens in every major college town on a regular basis, and not just in Boulder -- and they're right. But like it or not, Boulder continues to be known as a partying mecca, making it a predictable target for exposes like this one.
More from our News archive: "Update: Zoey Ripple, drunk CU grad shot by homeowner, charged with felony trespassing."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.