JUVENILE PARTIES

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“Mom, we’re just going to Burger King, we’ll be home in a while…”

It happens every summer as soon as school lets out. Sometimes a few weeks before school lets out. Easter break, Christmas break, Spring break. Any break from school and it seems like the cool thing to do is throw a party. Not just a “have a few friends over party”, but a full blown juvenile drinking party.

We get calls on the weekends for numerous drinking parties at residences, usually on Friday and Saturday nights. There are certain common characteristics we see in all of these parties and after 15 years of responding to these calls I have yet to see these not be the case.

The first being Mom and Dad had no idea what was taking place at their home. They were out of town on vacation or on business and decided to leave their older children home alone. What I’m reminded of here is the saying “when the cat’s away the mice will play.”
(Here’s a scary thought. On a few of these calls, Mom and Dad were home but didn’t think anything was wrong with their kids having a party for their friends…that is until one of their friends kills themselves while driving home.)

The second is that the kid throwing the party invites a handful of friends, maybe 10, 15, or even 20. The problem starts when one kid tells another kid, who tells 3 more kids, and those kids tell other kids. Pretty soon an entire high school knows that “Lindsey is having a party”.

17-year-old Lindsey thinks that 10 of her friends are coming over and that someone may score a couple 12 packs of beer to bring over. If not, there’s always Mom and Dad’s liquor cabinet with a few bottles of wine in it! Wow, where did all these people come from? 50-60 kids and 3 boys she kind of knows brought a beer keg complete with ice and a can to put it in. Well, she can’t tell her high school friends they have to leave now, can she?

So let the party begin…

Chips and Salsa, Ice cold beer, someone is doing tequila shots in the kitchen, and where is that funny smell coming from? Hey what are you doing in my Mom and Dad’s room? 2 guys and a girl are on the bed smoking a joint of marijuana. Hey c’mon Lindsey, it ain’t no big deal, take a hit. Lindsey says “I don’t know”, but gives it a shot anyways. She doesn’t notice the burn marks in her parents comforter, or that her Mom’s jewelry box was ransacked and is now empty.

Hey what’s that crashing noise downstairs? Lindsey runs downstairs and finds 2 boys fighting in the living room on the floor. They ended up on the floor after crashing through Lindsey’s parents antique living room table with the frosted glass top that is now in hundreds of pieces. One of the boys is cut up pretty bad and there is blood everywhere soaking into the white carpet on the floor. The bleeding boy runs out the door being followed by several other boys who are yelling out obscenities. Moments later a squealing of tires laying down skid marks in front of the house. The bleeding boy showing his pursuers that he is still tougher than they are.

Lindsey goes back into the house where her 16- year old girlfriend is puking all over herself. Burn marks in the carpeting from cigarettes. Spilled beer, spilled wine, puke, blood. Wow, this isn’t what she had in mind when she invited a few friends over…

And then the trouble really begins…You think the neighbors are happy about all the crap taking place on the street? The calls start pouring in.
You and I are on patrol finishing our 8th report of the night. The dispatcher tells us and a cover unit, to respond for a juvenile drinking party in the area of 123 Lindsey street. Numerous neighbors report juveniles are drinking at the location and the RP (reporting party) does not think the parents are home.

As we drive to the location, the dispatcher gives us updated information that cars are being driven recklessly up and down the street, and that beer bottles are being smashed in front of another callers house. Possible fight now taking place involving numerous subjects.

Another neighbor reports a male juvenile was urinating on his lawn and when the neighbor told him to stop, the subject threatened to kill the neighbor. Sounds like it’s gonna be a good one I tell you…

We arrive and I park about a block away. I instruct my cover unit to do the same and using the cover of darkness and trees, I start down the street and see about 30 cars that are not normally parked here this time of night. I see numerous young looking subjects in front of the house who look like they are smoking cigarettes. Many of them are holding red and blue plastic drinking cups which are commonly used at “keg parties”.

I hear laughing, swearing, and “tough guy talk” as I get closer, and it sounds like the majority of the party is now in the rear yard. I radio for a couple more units to stand by in the area because when we make contact, many of these kids will try and run on foot to get to their cars. (A couple of these kids are going to get their first DUI tonight.)

The kids in front of the house go through the side gate to the rear yard. I follow, while you and the back up take the front door and other gate. As I enter I pick up a couple of the plastic cups discarded in the driveway and see that they are filled with various amounts of beer. I round the corner of the yard undetected and see about 30 kids in the yard with a keg in plain view of the patio. None of the subjects appear to be 21.

Someone sees me and yells “Cops” which is my cue to light up my flashlight and yell for everyone to enter the living room of the house or be subjected to arrest if they try to run. 5-guys bail over the backyard fence, but most of the kids comply and enter the house. Lindsey is located and identified as being the”resident” of the household.

I open the door for you and the cover unit, and we find we have 47 kids at the house. You do a room to room search and find 3 more hiding in a closet downstairs. You go into the master bedroom upstairs and smell a strong odor of marijuana burning. There is a 16-year old girl on the bed who appears to be unconscious. You try to get her to wake up and can’t so you call an ambulance.

While you take care of the girl who overdosed on vodka and now has a blood alcohol level of .22, I and several other officers will begin the task of finding out everyone’s age and how much they’ve had to drink.
Under 18 and you are detained. 18 or over your name is documented and if you’ve been drinking you ain’t driving.
Couple legal points here you need to know.

Any person under the age of 21 who operates a vehicle, and has a blood alcohol level of .01 will have their license suspended and revoked for 1 year, and the vehicle they are operating will be impounded for 30 days at the owners expense. A couple sips of beer can make some kids blow a .01 on the portable intoxilyzer. It’s called the Zero tolerance law and I don’t know how other states do it, but I’d like to thank the persons who passed this law!

A juvenile under 18 years of age in California is considered legally drunk and will be charged with a DUI for a blood alcohol level of .05 or greater. (For adults and minor subjects 18 and over it’s .08 percent.)

When you turn 18 you are no longer a juvenile. You are still a minor but not a juvenile. If you break the law for an arrestable offense, Mom and Dad will not be called. You will be cited and released or booked at county jail. Most 18-year olds I know of that are in high school, live with Mom and Dad. Try explaining that one to your folks after they’ve been wondering where you’re were at all night.

Remember the above. Life takes a big change when you turn 18, and as long as you’re under 21, if you get stopped for so much as a tail light out and the cop suspects you’ve been drinking and your field test shows .01 or higher,
you’ll lose your license for a year, and your car for 30 days. At your expense!

Ok, back to the party. 6 officers are on scene now, and 3 more are patrolling the street making stops for reckless driving on cars leaving the party. 3 DUI arrest are made within minutes…

Every subject 18 or over who is under the influence or who was in possession of alcohol is identified and released depending on sobriety level.
Every subject 17 and under is detained and we call Mom and Dad, or a legal guardian, to respond to the house to pick you up. Sometimes you may get cited into diversion if you’ve consumed alcohol. Other times you may just be released to your parents if you were “just there” and had not been drinking.

The question often comes up, “why do you have to call my parents?”

The answer is this. When you are under 18, out late at night, and get stopped by the police, if your parents are nowhere around, we become your parents.
We cannot just release a 16-year old kid who has been drinking, to go on his or her merry way, especially with alcohol in their system.
Parental contact HAS TO be made or you will be detained at juvenile hall in a “safe enviornment”. Same goes for when you’re out and about late at night in violation of curfew. We HAVE to make parental notification so don’t get in our face when that happens. We hope that Mom and Dad will realize the seriousness of why a 16-year old son or daughter shouldn’t be out at 1am unsupervised. What are the dangers?

OH, I forgot to mention that the 16-year old girl who was unconscious, wasn’t just trippin on alcohol. One of the boys in that room slipped her some “Rufenol” (the infamous “date rape” tablet) in her drink, and hospital staff now inform us 3 hours later that the girl had been raped.

An alert officer stopped a Chevy Malibu for reckless driving. The driver? The kid who got beat up and cut at the party. He was now with 2 of his buddies. The 18-year old driver got arrested for drunk driving, and his two buddies got arrested for drunk in public. Oh ya, the driver also got arrested for being in possession of a loaded firearm and for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. See, he got a little pissed off when he got beat up, went and got 2 of his buddies and a gun, and was headed back to the party to spray the house with bullets. Think one of those wildly shot bullets could have snuffed out the life of your son or daughter who just happened to get in the way?

Lindsey gets a $500.00 citation for “hosting a juvenile drinking party” and will be mandated to complete alcohol school counseling and do community service. Mom and Dad will get a nice bill from the City for 6 Officer’s time for the 3 hours it took to shut down the party.

The 3 guys arrested for DUI while they were leaving the area lose their license for a year and get 3 years probation as well as several thousands dollars in fines and school fee’s. Plus guess what an astronomical jump the old insurance rates take that Mom and Dad pay for.

The kid with the gun will do about 6 months time at a boys ranch somewhere because he has a long juvenile criminal history. Lindsey’s Mom and Dad come home and find their house “THRASHED”.

Stains in the carpet, burn holes in the carpet and on their bed. What if the house had burned down? And Mom’s jewelry? All gone, including the treasured rings your grandmother gave to your mom before she died. Items that can’t be replaced. And where is your Dad’s laptop computer and cell phone? When the smoke clears, the burglary report we take totals a combined loss of $15,000.00 in property that in reality, will probably never be recovered.

2 years down the road, the 16-year old girl has pretty much recovered from the rape incident both mentally and physically after having had the abortion. What she will always be devastated by, is that she just tested positive for HIV. Were the boys who raped her ever identified? No. No one knew them. They had been told about the party by a friend of a friend of a friend…. Think they care about your daughter? Oops, don’t forget. Lindey’s Mom and Dad are now being civilly sued by the parents of the 16-year old girl for the mishap that happened to their daughter.

What would you do if your parents got served with a multi million dollar lawsuit for your STUPIDITY?

The store owner on the other side of town wondered why it took the cops forever to respond to his “silent alarm” after he was robbed. There’s never a damn cop around when you need one, where were you guys, having a convention at the donut shop?

The worse call dispatched, was for one of our partners to respond to a “vehicle verses power pole” call with possible fatalities. The 17-year old male driver is one of Lindsey’s friends from school. He has a steering wheel impaled into his chest but after miracle work performed by paramedics and the helicopter flight to the truama center it is determined that he will survive.
He may even walk again. Someday. His 16-year old passenger who was his girlfriend, and Lindsey’s best girlfriend at school, isn’t as lucky.She will get a roadside cross for all to remember her by. Lindsey will remember her most. They were coming from her party….

Want to know how you can curb these often dangerous and deadly parties?
Go to our tip of the week and we’ll fill you in…

Until next time, whether you’re a parent or a kid….you know the difference between right and wrong. Only one person in this world decides what you are going to do day in and day out. Don’t make stupid mistakes. Ignorance is no excuse for death and destruction.

I often tell kids that life can be looked at like driving a car.

If you drive your car recklessly and break laws, it’s gonna catch up to you.
Expensive fines, loss of insurance, or a vehicle accident.

If you drive into “bad area’s” and venture where you shouldn’t venture, you’re gonna get carjacked. (You know what I mean by bad areas.)

If you don’t take care of your car, it’s gonna break and cost you big money.

If the tires get worn and you don’t replace them, you’re gonna get a flat out in the middle of nowhere.

If you don’t put water in the radiator, you’re gonna crack the block…and so on and so on…
This leads me to one question. In the “car of life theory”,
“It’s your car, Whose drivin it?”

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