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High School Drinking and Drugs – Weekend Plans Parents and Kids Should Know About

What happens when 50 kids shows up with alcohol and drugs for a party when parents are away for the night or weekend?

A wonderful article was written last week by Police Officer James Palmieri from Darien, a small town in Connecticut, about 20,000 people. The article was the first in a series of four about alcohol and drug abuse by teens. If you’re kids are drinking a lot, these are some very good reasons for getting them into alcohol rehab.

Officer Darien discussed the law, and what officers are forced to do if they get a complaint – too much noise, other disruption, suspected under-age drinking, and so on. Basically, they are forced to do something about it. Gone are the days of warnings.

Officer Palmieri also points out that warnings are actually dangerous. You give a drunk teenager a warning and they’re still at large. They could take off in their car, have an accident and kill themselves, or someone else.

All teenagers should know that if they’re caught, it’s not going to be a pretty scene. I quote him:
“The “host” of the party, whether voluntary, or … involuntary, is charged with the felony charge of C.G.S. 30-86l; Giving or Delivering Liquor to a Minor. This felony charge is the reason I urge kids to take control when a gathering is getting out of hand. They need to weigh the possible social consequences with the consequence of being arrested (handcuffed, brought to the police department, and booked). For the rest of the party-goers, the charge of C.G.S. 30-89b; Possession of Alcohol by a Minor can be levied. It is interesting to note that a minor does not need to be in physical possession of an alcoholic beverage to be charged under this statute, but only have immediate access to or be in the immediate presence of an alcoholic beverage. So in plain-speak, the excuse of “But I didn’t drink,” doesn’t cut it.”

The last couple of sentences should open a lot of eyes. The kids don’t need to have the beer or other alcohol on them, they just have to have easy access to it. In other words, if anyone there is drinking, and the alcohol is immediately accessible, everyone can be arrested.

Officer Palmieri, whose duties include school resource officer at Darien High School, also discusses the organization of weekend parties. On Friday afternoon while still in school, kids are texting (years ago they would have been passing notes, whispering, or meeting in halls) about who’s parents are going to be away that weekend, or one of the weekend nights.

Because texts, tweets travel much faster and reach many more people than word of mouth, a person who wanted to invite a few friends over can find themselves inundated with kids who want to party – drinking, drugs and all.

Rather than become a social outcast by kicking them all out, the ‘host’ feels compelled to go along with it.

Parents – be aware of this possibility. You could prevent your kid from committing a felony, not to mention the much more dangerous, life-threatening potential consequences.

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