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Friday, June 13, 2008
And Round The Whirly Gig Goes...
...I was going to write about it being the last day of school and my memories of such. But I found something *even better* to talk about and it still has to do with the last day of school.

Teenage drinking at parties.

But wait WG, you say, you already discussed that on Monday! Yes, yes I did. And it bears discussing again because one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.

A headline in the local paper tells me that cops are warning parents to keep kids parties booze free. This is because it's illegal to host a teen party with alcohol present.

Hello? If you read on Monday, you'll see the problem here. There are *fines* for it, there are codes that changed that said parents are responsible for minors who are drinking at parties and that you cannot have a party with minors, alcohol and no parents.

So explain this to the woman in a local town (whose border is just across that yellow line in the road near my house) who was cited for hosting a teen party with alcohol present - her second infraction in 6 months. Why second? Because there was alcohol at her daughter's Sweet Sixteen party as well. This party was a graduation party, she had a DJ, she had security guards to ensure there would be no alcohol.

So what's the deal? Is it illegal? Apparently, yes. But I guess you get in *more* trouble and liability if you aren't present when the cops come and there's alcohol involved with minors.

Personally, I'd like to see the cops not just fine the parents but arrest them too. They're providing alcohol to minors - isn't that something like contributing to the delinquency of a minor? Or is that an old and outdated rule now? It still doesn't explain why the two codes don't match up - someone's going to read one and say "hey, it's OK, I might have to pay a fine" and someone else is going to read it and say "no, it's not OK". Period. Full stop.

Well, the parent in this case continues to deny that she supplied alcohol. They were searching guests as they came in. They were turning away people who were already inebriated. But apparently a 16 year old girl was treated later that night with a BAL of .285 and severe alcohol intoxication. The host parent's response? She apparently *came* to the party already drunk.

But wait, weren't you *refusing* entry to those who were drunk? I guess someone must have slipped through and don't you sound stupid in today's news. Even so, all the parents of all the teens were called and the police left all the alcohol they found on display so that parents get a sense of the reality that they faced. And we're not talking just beer here. "Liquor" was involved. That means things like vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, tequila - basically anything that's distilled.

I think all the parents probably know the reality that's involved. Especially if they knew that the parent in question had already been cited for alcohol at the Sweet 16 party (the alcohol involved, by the way, was Wild Turkey and Coors at that party).

I still can't believe it though. I'll bet that the woman in question hired the guards, had a keg, let some kids through who brought beer and other things, and figured the most she would get is a fine based on the recent story in the paper about the confusion that parents must be present during a party with alcohol and minors.

Stupid parent and stupid example for impressionable teenagers who learn more by example than they do from lectures and empty words...

...and again, I still worry more about the 'thinking problem' they will have than the 'drinking problem' that they'll probably never develop.