07-20-09 Weekend "Party Patrols" Update
Boise, July 20, 2009 - Boise Police continued their campaign against underage drinking in cooperation with Crime Stoppers this weekend. Officers ran a "party patrol" Saturday night, July 18th, into early Sunday morning, July 19th. The patrols are officers response to citizen complaints of frequent parties that involve underage drinking.
"If we can prevent one tragedy for a family, our effort is worth it. We know that a huge percentage of injuries and deaths to teens and young adults involve the irresponsible use of alcohol," said Officer Jermaine Galloway, Neighborhood Contact Officer for the Broadway area, and an expert on underage drinking enforcement. "When we can work with parents, neighbors, and others in the community to keep kids from abusing alcohol, we're all helping ensure that those kids have a safe future."
Four Boise Police officers worked the special patrol Saturday night. In all, the officers broke up two underage drinking parties.
The first party, near Euclid and W. Boise Ave, was located by officers about midnight, while driving through the area after neighbors had complained in recent weeks of underage party issues. Driving by, officers saw people standing in the street drinking alcohol and stopped to investigate.
About 2:00 a.m., a neighbor called 911 to report a second party, this one near Apple and E. Bergeson St. When officers arrived, they found several underage people standing in the front of the home with open containers of alcohol. Several ran, but some were later caught by officers. Officers believe the party was instigated by a 17 year old female who had been babysitting a 4 year old at the home. The 17 year old girl was given citations for Injury to a child, underage drinking, and disorderly house (given to someone responsible for a loud party). The adult who lived at the home arrived shortly after police, and gave officers consent to enter the home, where officers found more underage drinkers.
Adults were mixed with those underage at both parties. However, officers did not cite anyone for providing the alcohol to the teens. In all, officers issued:
47 total misdemeanor citations (meaning those receiving the citations will have to appear in court, see penalties below), including:
24-Underage Drinking Citations.
4-Open Container Citations.
9-Resisting and Obstructing Citations, mostly given to teens who tried to run from the officers, but were caught.
5-False Personation/False Info Citations
1-Disorderly House (given to someone responsible for a loud party)
4-Miscellaneous Misdemeanors. These included citations for Injury to a child, tobacco violations, and disorderly conduct.
This weekend's enforcement came after a similar "party patrol" July 3rd. Officers responded to a citizen complaint into Crime Stoppers of a very large parties being held at a home near Overland and Curtis. Officers followed up and indeed found a party at the home with approx 50 people, many of whom were underage. That same night, officers followed up on citizen complaints of underage drinking and disorderly conduct outside a retail tobacco business on Broadway. Between the two incidents July 3rd, officers issued:
23-total misdemeanor citations, including:
14- Underage Consumption / Possession of alcohol
2-False Info to Police
2-Possession of Drugs/Paraphernalia
Background: Recent enforcement is a continuation of a campaign that began in March of 2007 (see release dated 03-21-07 at www.boisepolice.org) with education, visibility and the connection between citizens and officers provided by Crime Stoppers. The project has already involved numerous education campaigns and enforcement efforts.
"We're asking the community to join us in protecting our kids by not buying or supplying alcohol to teens, and to report people or places who do." said Officer Galloway. "Crime Stoppers, several local businesses, and local media have helped us get the word out to citizens. People are hearing the message that alcohol and kids is a dangerous mix, and they're on board, helping us protect our young people."
Citizens are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS if they have information on establishments selling alcohol to minors, or information on places where alcohol is provided for use by minors.
Penalties/Laws on underage alcohol use or possession:
It is illegal for those under 21 to drink, buy, possess, transport or have open alcohol. Penalties for a minor in possession of alcohol: 1st offense = fine up to $1,000 and up to one year drivers license suspension.
Dangers of Underage Drinking:
It's well documented, underage drinking can lead to tragedy. Underage drinking is a factor in the 4 leading causes of death in people ages 10 to 24: motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.
Underage alcohol use can be prevented. Research shows teens are less likely to drink alcohol when access is difficult, both in the home and in the community, and parents explain that they expect "no use" before age 21 and monitor their children's activities.
Research shows underage youth are less likely to drink and drive when the zero tolerance laws and consequences are publicized and enforced.
For more information on Preventing Underage drinking, go to:
- http://camy.org/ (Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth)