MCP Alcohol Enforcement Unit Continues Shutting Down Underage Drinking Parties

The Montgomery County Police Alcohol Initiatives Section (AIS) continues to respond to reports of underage drinking parties in the county. AIS officers want to remind the parents of teenagers to be particularly cautious of possible drinking parties taking place when they are away from home, and to be aware that teenagers may smuggle alcohol into a party even when the parents are at home. The following are some recent examples:

Saturday, April 2 at approximately 10:15 p.m., officers responded to Rapley Gate Terrace in Potomac for the report of an underage drinking party. The parents were at home and knew that teens were socializing at their home. They were not aware that the teens had brought alcohol into the house using recycled spring water bottles. The parents found out when one of the girls became drunk and lost consciousness. Fire/Rescue transported her to an area hospital where she was treated and released. When officers arrived they wrote 13 alcohol citations, 10 for Possession of Alcohol, and 3 for Furnishing Alcohol. One of the female party attendees refused to drink even though all of her other friends were drinking.

On Sunday, March 27, just before midnight, officers responded to the report of a possible party on Capitol View Avenue in Kensington. The officers found evidence of the party, and after receiving permission from the juvenile resident to enter the residence, they conducted a controlled dispersal. Underage alcohol possession citations were issued to 13 individuals, 11 juveniles, and 2 adults. All the juveniles were released to parents who came to the party location to pick them up. All alcohol was removed from the residence. The juvenile residentís mother was out of town.

Again on Sunday, March 27, officers responded to an underage drinking party on Osceola Road in Bethesda. Nine citations were issued for underage possession of alcoholic beverages. All the juveniles were released to their parents.

Alcohol Enforcement Specialists (AES) responded to an underage drinking party on Red Clover Drive in Rockville on Saturday, March 26, for the report of a party in progress. Seventeen citations were issued for underage possession of alcoholic beverages. The officers ensured that all minors were turned over to their parents or a responsible adult. The homeowners were out of the country.

Before leaving teens unsupervised, parents should set and communicate clear rules to be followed in the parentsí absence including no parties or gatherings while you are gone. Be direct about your expectations and the consequences of your childís actions. Give your teen the phone numbers of several adults to call in case of an emergency and contact your local district police to check your property during routine patrols. Finally, notify your neighbors to keep an eye out for any unusual activity at your home while your teen(s) are unsupervised.

We are just completing the spring break season and the months for proms and graduations are fast-approaching. Parents and adults are again reminded that it is illegal to host a party where minors drink alcohol, or even to allow teen drinking in your home. Adults could receive a $1,000 fine. Parents will be held civilly liable if sued by another parent. Injuries, alcohol poisoning, or sexual assault may result in law suits. The parent may be held responsible even if the parent wasnít at home, or didnít know about the party.

For tips on how to host an alcohol-free party for teens or to report advance knowledge of an underage party, call 301-670-SAFE. If someone has knowledge of a party in progress, or if a party becomes dangerous call the police non-emergency number 301-279-8000.

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